NFL Combine Records: Fastest 40 Times, Best Bench Press and More
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Forget about current pro potential, because the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine offers a chance for prospects to wow scouts and fans across the country.
In other words, this event is an opportunity to really display one's supreme athletic talent regardless of draft status. Obviously performing well is needed to increase the odds of getting drafted, but the participants can also go for some incredible records as well.
Ahead are the following records for every drill in combine history.
Fascinatingly enough, not every record was set by a prospect who was extensively well known. In fact, some of the names will surprise you.
Bo Jackson ran the fastest 40-yard dash in NFL combine history.
First, there is no single "official" 40 time at the combine.
That said, Bo Jackson has the best verifiable time at a combine with his 4.12-second clocking at the Louisiana Superdome in 1986.
In addition, Jackson claimed to have been clocked at 4.13 electronically.
For further verification of Jackson's combine time, this tweet came from ESPN Stats & Info in December of 2012:
Bo Jackson's 40-time of 4.12 seconds at the 1986 NFL draft combine is still the fastest measured at any NFL combine. #BoKnows— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 9, 2012
Bo knows speed and he remains the NFL's fastest man...ever.
Stephen Paea of the Chicago Bears pumped out 49 reps on the bench press during his combine, per NFL.com.
That number is the best this century, but 51 reps were put up in 1999 by someone you've likely never heard of.
Justin Ernest of Eastern Kentucky hit 51 reps, according to NFLDraftScout.com, but he went undrafted the following April. In short, strength and power is certainly a good thing to potentially develop as a pro football player, although much more is needed from other attributes as well.
On the bright side, knocking out that many reps on the bench is ridiculously impressive, regardless of whether one makes it in the NFL or not.
The ability to leap is a competitive advantage in pro football, especially since it has evolved into a passing league.
Possessing extreme hops, though, doesn't guarantee anything either.
Gerald Sensabaugh leaped to 46 inches on the vertical jump in 2005, which is the record per Frank Cooney via CBS Sports in February of 2009. Sensabaugh was then selected in Round 5 by the Jacksonville Jaguars and now plays for the Dallas Cowboys.
The veteran safety has enjoyed a decent NFL career, but owning the top vertical in combine history shows that more ability is required to be considered a top prospect.
Given that the Cowboys do field two stud cornerbacks in Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, it's reasonable to anticipate Sensabaugh producing more in the immediate future.
Two combine participants tied for the 11'5" mark at the NFL combine.
Per ESPN.com, USC's Justin Fargas hit the mark in 2003, and then Scott Starks of Wisconsin reached it in 2005.
Fargas was selected by the Oakland Raiders in Round 3 of '03 and enjoyed a 1,000-yard rushing campaign in 2007. Starks was picked by the Jacksonville Jaguars two years later, also in Round 3, but had even less of an impact compared to what Fargas brought to Oakland.
Explosiveness and the ability to quickly generate power are good attributes to make it pro; however, obviously better all-around talent will ensure a more consistent career.
Sedrick Curry is someone most have never heard of...until now.
A solid cornerback for Texas A&M in the late 1990s, Curry bolted to 6.34 seconds in the 3-cone drill at the 2000 combine, per Frank Cooney via CBS Sports.
Unfortunately, Curry's athleticism and college talent never transitioned into pro football.
He went undrafted, which goes to show that the fastest and most electric do not always pan out.
Iowa receiver Kevin Kasper was an NFL journeyman from 2001 through 2008.
There are, though, two things he can hang his pro football hat on:
1. Winning a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in 2004, and
2. Setting the 20-yard shuttle record at 3.73 seconds, per Frank Cooney via Scout.com in February of 2008.
Kasper produced more as a return specialist than anywhere else and didn't contribute much on offense—but his quickness is legendary.
The most recent record set belongs to cornerback Jamell Fleming of the Arizona Cardinals.
At the 2012 combine, Fleming blazed through the 60-yard shuttle for a time of 10.75 seconds, per NFL.com.
During his rookie season Fleming collected 23 tackles and defended one pass for Arizona. With the potential to develop into a greater contributing role, Fleming undoubtedly has the athleticism to impact for the Cardinals secondary.
After all, this unit only allowed a 54.3 completion percentage last year and collected 22 picks.