As the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine quickly approaches (the first players arrive in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Feb. 23), it's time to take a look at a few players who could challenge Chris Johnson's 40-yard-dash record (4.24 seconds) in Indianapolis.
We know from past combines that Johnson pays attentionto the proceedings. Who are some of the guys who could make CJ2K sweat? Here are my top candidates ...
NOTE: Click on each player's name for a full combine scouting report.
Listenbee is my choice to run the fastest 40-yard dash in Indy. He has a legitimate track background at TCU, having posted a 10.04-second 100-meter time in 2015. I don't know if he'll be able to set the record, but I do think he is likely to run 4.30 or better. I predict Listenbee, who averaged a whopping 19.9 yards per catch for the Horned Frogs last season, will gain some traction in scouting circles after the combine. And ultimately, I believe he will be drafted in the third or fourth round.
NFL scouts clocked Sims in the mid 4.3's last spring. Now that he's had a couple months to train for the 40, he should be able to lower that time in Indianapolis. Sims, who offers solid a size-speed combo at the CB position, projects as a fourth/fifth-round pick in April.
Fuller's speed is easy to notice on tape. USC cornerback Adoree' Jackson is an outstanding track athlete for the Trojans, and Fuller ran away from him with ease in their meeting last October. The start will be crucial, but I think he's capable of posting a time in the mid-4.3s. Fuller, a big-play machine who scored 29 touchdowns during his last two years in South Bend, cracked my initial list of the top 50 prospects for 2016 NFL Draft. (Related note: I'll be providing an updated ranking next week.)
Ohio State has more 2016 NFL prospects than any other team in the country -- and every time I watch Buckeyes film, Miller looks like the fastest player on the field. OSU coaches have told scouts that they've timed Miller in the mid-4.3s. He definitely looked that fast at the Senior Bowl practices. I believe he's likely to land in the second round of the upcoming draft, as an enticing athlete who's still learning the receiver position. (Remember, Miller was twice named Big Ten MVP as the Buckeyes' starting quarterback.)
Ramsey is an elite talent on the football field, but he was also a track star at FSU. He won the ACC long-jump title in both indoor and outdoor track. He also placed seventh in the conference in the 100 meter, posting a time of 10.61. He might not run the top 40 time in Indy, but his overall workout will be outstanding. Bottom line: He's one of the most gifted players in this entire draft class. In my latest mock draft, I have him going to the San Diego Chargers with the third overall pick.
Three more burners to watch:Artie Burns, CB, Miami; Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State; Kevon Seymour, CB, USC.