The 2013 NFL draft class may be lacking in some areas, but it certainly isn’t missing any speed. Wide receivers Tavon Austin (West Virginia) and Marquise Goodwin (Texas) each ran unofficial times of 4.25 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Sunday, coming up just short of the 4.24 mark Chris Johnson set at the 2008 combine.
UPDATE: Sunday, Feb. 24, at 12:40 p.m. ET by Justin Onslow
Tavon Austin and Marquise Goodwin didn't break Chris Johnson's combine record, but they came close. Their 4.25 40-yard dash time was an unofficial mark.
According to Dion Caputi of NationalFootballPost, Goodwin ran the fastest official 40 so far this year:
Rich Campbell @Rich_Campbell
WVU receiver Tayvon Austin's official 40-yard dash time is 4.34 seconds, NFL announces. Not the unofficial time of 4.25, but quite fast.2/24/2013, 5:28:40 PM
As it stands, Johnson's time is still the fastest electronically recorded 40-yard dash in NFL Scouting Combine history. He expressed his pride in the mark via a text message to Scott Hanson:
Scott Hanson @ScottHanson
Chris Johnson texts me: "Proud to be standing strong". His 4.24 still stands for at least another day.2/24/2013, 5:38:35 PM
---End of Update---
Both players were expected to impress in the drill this year, but few expected them to come so close to besting the all-time combine record. Even Johnson was impressed with their results:
Chris Johnson @ChrisJohnson28
Hello world I wake up to some blazing speed at the combine2/24/2013, 4:40:46 PM
Austin is one of the most highly touted receiving prospects in this year’s class. With incredible quickness, agility and lightning-fast speed, he certainly didn’t do anything to hurt his draft stock with this run:
Goodwin hasn’t received as much first-round hype as Austin, but he proved with his 40 time that he’s just as fast. Goodwin told the media his goal was to break Johnson’s record this weekend, but he missed the mark on his first attempt by a hundredth of a second.
While running the fastest time in combine history has its merits for NFL teams, Austin and Goodwin may end up with a different kind of reward despite missing the mark.
According to Darren Rovell of ESPN, Adidas will offer a shoe contract to the player who runs the fastest 40-yard dash in Indianapolis. With two of the fastest times in combine history already locked up, there’s a good chance one of the two—or both—ends up with the contract when it’s all said and done.
On Saturday, offensive linemen Terron Armstead and Lane Johnson highlighted the straight-line speed portion of the testing among offensive linemen with times of 4.71 seconds and 4.72 seconds, respectively. Armstead's time set the combine record for the position.
The 40-yard dash is just one of a number of tests NFL prospects participate in at the NFL Scouting Combine. A fast time doesn't necessarily indicate elite talent at a given position, but both players got off to a good start in the on-field portion with the best times we're likely to see this year.
*All statistical information obtained from NFL.com.