NFL Combine: Top SEC 40-Yard Dash Times Historically

The 40-yard dash is one of the most anticipated parts of the NFL combine. NFL scouts and general managers often times value this so heavily, it decides whether or not they draft a player. In this article, we look at the top 40-yard dash times of all-time by SEC players and how those players panned out in the NFL.
NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The NFL Draft is upcoming in April, but the NFL Combine just began today and will go through Sunday.

Every year at the combine, the 40-yard dash is one of the most anticipated workouts of the day for each position group.

According to , the schedule for the combine should keep intrigue throughout.

Positions that matter most when it comes to the 40-yard dash are typically skill positions like defensive back, wide receiver and running back.

While records seems to be broken with the fastest 40-yard dash time each year, it is neat to look back at who had the top times historically.

According to ,here are the top five 40-yard dash times of all-time from SEC players, when they got drafted and career stats.

Henry Ruggs III, 2020 (4.27 seconds) – After starring with the Alabama Crimson Tide under head coach Nick Saban, Ruggs posted the fastest time ever in the 40 of any SEC player. Ruggs totaled 921 yards and four touchdowns in two seasons before his career ended abruptly on felony charges that caused the Las Vegas Raiders to release him.

Ruggs was drafted 12th overall by the Raiders in round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Zedrick Woods, 2019 (4.29 seconds) – Despite posting the second fasting time in history of all SEC players at the NFL Combine and the 16th fastest ever, the Ole Miss Rebels product went undrafted in 2019 but was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Woods never touched an NFL field as he retired shortly after being signed by the Jaguars in the pre-season.

Jamel Dean, 2019 (4.3 seconds) –The former Auburn Tigers standout defensive back was drafted in the third round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has been there since.

In his five NFL seasons so far, Dean has compiled seven interceptions and 254 tackles.

Dean was originally acquired by the Buccaneers in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams. I would say it has worked out well for the Buccaneers.

Velus Jones Jr., 2022 (4.31 seconds) – The Tennessee Volunteers receiver may not be a name familiar to many, but his time at the NFL Combine definitely stuck out the Chicago Bears who drafted him in the third round.

Jones has appeared in 26 games for the Bears over the past two years amassing only 154 yards receiving and one touchdown.

Keith Marshall , 2016 (4.31 seconds) – Georgia Bulldogs fans remember this name as the other half of “Gurshall” being the tandem in Athens of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Gurley took center stage later on in Marshall and Gurley’s careers in Athens due in large part to Marshall’s injuries that kept him off the field.

Regardless, Marshall posted the fifth best time ever for SEC players at the NFL Combine in 2016 and helped him to get drafted in the seventh round by the Washington Commanders.

Marshall never appeared in an NFL game and was released by Washington on September 2nd, 2017.

The importance of the 40-yard dash is questioned by many, and this is a strong example of why.

Only one of these five players all who posted top times within the past seven years has arguably amassed any significance of a career and stat line in the NFL.

Regardless, it is still neat to watch these stats and see how this year’s class pans out.