Chris Johnson's NFL Combine 40-Yard-Dash Record Unofficially Broken by John Ross  3/4/2017 6:42:15 PM 

Mar 3, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Washington wide receiver John Ross speaks to the media during the 2017 combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2017

Washington Huskies wide receiver John Ross unofficially broke Chris Johnson's long-standing 40-yard-dash record Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis with a speedy sprint that took all of 4.22 seconds. 

The NFL's official Twitter account relayed video of the record-shattering moment: 


OH. MY. GOODNESS. JOHN ROSS!!!! 🔥 @UW_Football WR @WatchJRoss runs 4.22u 40-yard dash. (cc: @chrisjohnson28)

3/4/2017, 5:36:45 PM

Johnson set the previous record in 2008 when he ran the combine's premier event in a blazing 4.24 seconds, and that mark stood for nine years before Ross scorched the turf Saturday:

Once Ross' run was over, Johnson tweeted out a few emojis that spoke volumes: 

Chris Johnson @ChrisJohnson28


3/4/2017, 5:40:02 PM

Meanwhile, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson was simply in awe of Ross' achievement: 

Patrick Peterson /P2 @P2

WAIT. @WatchJRoss RAN WHAT?????!! 😳😳😳😳😳😳🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 #NFLCombine

3/4/2017, 5:38:22 PM

But based on Ross' blazing traits, it wasn't particularly surprising that he was the one who took over as the 40-yard-dash king, per Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman: 

Bruce Feldman @BruceFeldmanCFB

Asked a Washington coach if he's surprised John Ross just ran a 4.22.. "Not at all! 4.25 last spring."

3/4/2017, 5:42:50 PM

Several players came close to breaking Johnson's record in recent years, with Dri Archer tops among them, as NFL Research noted on Twitter:

NFL Research @NFLResearch

As we await the official 40-yard dash time from John Ross, just a reminder... @UW_Football @WatchJRoss

3/4/2017, 5:42:21 PM

"To be honest, I don't want to see the record go," Johnson said before the 2016 combine, per SiriusXM NFL Radio (via news services). "But if somebody does break it ... I'll be happy for them and give them a handshake and congratulate them."

  1. NFL Free Agency 2017: Where Will Former Vikings RB Adrian Peterson Land?

  2. Insider Buzz: Glennon Offered Top Backup QB Money by Bucs, CHI & NYJ Interested

  3. Insider Buzz: Raiders Will Wait to See Murray's Market Before Targeting Peterson

  4. Insider Buzz: JPP Not Expected to Agree to Long-Term Deal, NYG Could Draft DE

  5. Rumor Alert: Titans Most Likely to Trade for Saints WR Brandin Cooks?

  6. Rumor Alert: Philadelphia Eagles Will Evaluate Signing RB Jamaal Charles?

  7. NFL Free Agency 2017: Where Will Tony Romo Land If Cut by Dallas Cowboys?

  8. Matt Miller's Rapid-Fire Predictions for 2017 NFL Combine

  9. Insider Buzz: Kirk Cousins Open to Being Traded to Cleveland Browns

  10. Insider Buzz: Adrian Peterson, Vikings to Determine Future at NFL Combine

  11. Meet the Biggest Sleeper DB Ready to Tear Up the NFL Combine

  12. Insider Buzz: Cutler Won't Accept Any Trade by Bears, Could Threaten to Retire

  13. Insider Buzz: NFL Won't Rush to Interfere in Revis, Jets Contract Situation

  14. Top Landing Spots for Tony Romo If Released or Traded by Dallas Cowboys

  15. Top Landing Spots for Former New York Giants WR Victor Cruz

  16. Insider Buzz: Redskins Interested in Tony Romo; Could Trade Kirk Cousins

  17. Insider Buzz: Jets Can Get Out of Revis Contract Due to Incident in Pittsburgh

  18. Insider Buzz: Jets Can Get Out of Revis Contract Due to Incident in Pittsburgh

  19. Insider Buzz: QB Mitch Trubisky Is a 'Lock for the Top 5' in 2017 NFL Draft

  20. Insider Buzz: Salary Cap Increase Could Lead to Uptick in Franchise Tag Use

  21. Tim Tebow Gave 75,000 Kids with Special Needs a Night They'll Never Forget

  22. Insider Buzz: Tony Romo Could Retire from NFL to Pursue TV Career

  23. Insider Buzz: Aldon Smith Reinstatement in Jeopardy with Latest Controversy

  24. Insider Buzz: 49ers Open to Keeping Kaepernick but Not at Current Salary

  25. History Will Never Forget New England Patriots 5th Championship in Super Bowl LI

  26. Simms: Blame Falcons' Conservative D, Not Aggressive Offense, for SB LI Collapse

  27. A7FL No-Pads, Full-Contact Football League Claims It's Safer Than the NFL

  28. Gridiron Heights: Patriots Win Super Bowl LI

  29. NFL Comeback Player of the Year Jordy Nelson

  30. Top 5 NFL Interception Leaders of 2016

  31. Insider Buzz: Rams Could Let Trumaine Johnson Walk in Free Agency

  32. Insider Buzz: NFL Being Urged to Decrease TNF Games; Goodell Not Budging

  33. Insider Buzz: Las Vegas Deal Dead, but Raiders Haven't Contacted City of Oakland

  34. Insider Buzz: Belichick Could Pull Out Old Trick to Slow Down Julio Jones in SB

  35. Tale of the Tape: Do Patriots or Falcons Have Advantage in Super Bowl LI?

  36. NFL Award Predictions: Who Will Take Home Hardware at 'Honors' Ceremony?

  37. Why Dion Lewis Will Be Patriots Good Luck Charm in Super Bowl LI

  38. Which Group of Road Graders Will Win Offensive Line of the Year at NFL Honors?

  39. Deflategate to Lady Gaga: Prop Bets That Will Keep You Hooked on Super Bowl LI

  40. Insider Buzz: Patriots Will Move Fast on Garoppolo Trade This Offseason

  41. Insider Buzz: Romo Wants to Face Cowboys in 2017 Season

  42. Can Super Bowl LI Patriots Cement Legacy as Top Team of New England Dynasty Era?

  43. Fake Brady Makes Appearance at Super Bowl 51 Media Day

  44. Insider Buzz: John Elway, Rich McKay Endorsed John Lynch for 49ers GM Job

  45. Insider Buzz: Raiders to Vegas Hits a Snag, Lease Proposal Seen as 'Insulting'

  46. Why One of College Football's Worst Teams Will Be a Winner in Super Bowl LI

  47. Atlanta Falcons X-Factors to Disrupt Patriots Offense in Super Bowl LI

  48. Insider Buzz: 'Unconventional' John Lynch Hire Won't Impact Shanahan to 49ers

  49. Insider Buzz: Teams Take 'Precautions' Before Facing Patriots, Shred Game Plans

  50. NCAA Lacrosse to Super Bowl LI: Patriots WR Chris Hogan's Rise to the Top

  51. Simms in 60: Falcons and Patriots Have Most Creative Offenses, Take Notice NFL

  52. Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa Is Much More Than "The Next Marcus Mariota"

  53. Who Had the Best Attendance in the NFL in 2016?

  54. Insider Buzz: Former Bills Coaches Angry at 'Lazy' Dareus' Criticism of Rex Ryan

  55. Insider Buzz: Spanos Denies Wanting to Move Chargers Back to SD, Won't Sell Team

  56. Insider Buzz: Outgoing Rams Coaching Staff Blames Todd Gurley's Struggles on Him

  57. From College Lacrosse to Super Bowl 51: Chris Hogan's Journey

  58. Insider Buzz: Stanford's Solomon Thomas Looking Like Top-10 Talent

  59. Jackson vs. Garcon: Redskins Are Facing Difficult 2017 Free Agent Decision

  60. Simms' Hidden Truth: Falcons Use of Julio Jones Too Dynamic for NE to Shut Down

  61. Insider Buzz: Chiefs' Chris Ballard Emerging as Favorite for Colts' GM Job

  62. Insider Buzz: 3 Teams Eyeing Free Agent DeSean Jackson If Let Go by Washington

  63. Simms' Hidden Truth: X-Factors for Patriots to Slow Down Explosive Falcons in SB

  64. Insider Buzz: Collins Deal Will Be Baseline for Patriots to Ink Dont'a Hightower

  65. Insider Buzz: Raiders Hope Carr Contract Won't Reset QB Market, No Rush on Deal

  66. Gridiron Heights Episode 20: Roger Goodell Hosts the Griddies

  67. How Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots Rewrote the History Books

  68. Chris Hogan Lived Up to His "7/11" Nickname in Patriots AFC Title Victory

  69. Insider Buzz: CLE & SF Both Landing Spots for Kirk Cousins in Offseason

  70. Simms in 60: Brady's Brilliance Has Made NE Unstoppable Force Heading into SB51


  72. The Key Player in the AFC Championship Game

  73. Tom Brady Poised to Make History with Victory Over Pittsburgh Steelers

  74. Insider Buzz: Shanahan May Cede Control of Roster to GM; 2 Lead Candidates Emerge

  75. Insider Buzz: Raiders Face Hurdles in Vegas Move; Owners Want Them in Oakland

  76. New England Patriots Have NFL's Ultimate Postseason Home-Field Advantage

  77. Can Home-Field Advantage Help Falcons Close Georgia Dome with NFC Championship?

  78. Simms' Hidden Truth: NE Can Slow Creative PIT Defense with Only 2 WRs on Field

  79. Simms' Hidden Truth: PIT Must Unleash Top Pass-Rushers on NE's Interior Linemen

  80. Insider Buzz: 49ers Expected to Target Kirk Cousins If Shanahan Named Head Coach

  81. Insider Buzz: Packers in Danger of Missing 3 WRs in NFC Championship Game

  82. Simms' Hidden Truth: Seahawks' Simple, Predictable Defense Must Evolve in 2017

  83. Simms' Hidden Truth: Meet Falcons' Secret Stars Crucial to Slowing Aaron Rodgers

  84. Insider Buzz: Kaepernick Era Will End with 49ers; Does Not Fit Shanahan's Offense

  85. Insider Buzz: Kyle Shanahan Expected to Be 49ers' Next HC; Will Pick GM

  86. Expect High-Scoring Showdown in Packers vs. Falcons NFC Title Game

  87. Insider Buzz: McDaniels Could Wait on DET or TEN Jobs to Open Next Offseason

  88. 'Fame Can Change Things’: The Story Behind Aaron Rodgers' Family Feud

  89. How Bell, Brown Have Shattered Records on Steelers Historic Playoff Run

  90. Week 19 Episode of Gridiron Heights

  91. Insider Buzz: Colts' Future Unclear After Irsay Meeting with Gruden and Manning

  92. Miller in 60: Shanahan's Brilliant Game Plan Makes ATL Super Bowl Contender

  93. Redemption or Repeat? Breaking Down the 4 Rematches of NFL Divisional Round

  94. Gary Kubiak's Abrupt Departure Suddenly Makes Sense

  95. NFL Draft Live Insider Buzz: Jon Allen and Dalvin Cook Could Slide in NFL Draft

  96. Simms' Hidden Truth: Seahawks Must Dominate in Trenches for Shot at Beating ATL

  97. Insider Buzz: Chargers Will Play at StubHub Center, Moving to Inglewood in 2019

  98. Insider Buzz: Chargers Value Mike Smith's Experience, Impressed in Interview

  99. Insider Buzz: McVay Front-Runner for Rams but Age, Experience Concerns Remain

  100. Expect a Blowout in Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots Playoff Game

With Johnson long occupying the mantle of premier speedster, monetary incentives started to crop up for the nation's fastest prospects. 

A year ago, Adidas offered $1 million to any combine participant who broke Johnson's record while wearing the company's cleats.

Adidas ran a similar promotion in 2015, when it shelled out $100,000 to Trae Waynes, Phillip Dorsett and Kevin White for running the three fastest 40 times among athletes sponsored by the apparel company. 

This year, Adidas upped the ante and offered an island to the prospect who broke the record if he rocked Adizero 5-Star 40 cleats and agreed to an endorsement deal for the 2017-18 season, per's Darren Rovell

However, as Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio noted on Twitter, Ross was wearing Nike spikes during Saturday's run. 

While the 40-yard dash doesn't have a track record of indicating future success in the NFL, a stellar showing can turn heads and boost prospects' stock in advance of April's draft. 

For now, Ross should use his status as the NFL's new 40-yard-dash king to capitalize on a positive momentum surge and continue his climb up draft boards across the league as he seeks to snag first-round status. 

Like the new article format? Send us feedback!

« Go back