John Ross set a new 40-yard dash record over the weekend. AP/Press Association Images
Speed kills

Beware the fastest 40-yard dash time if you're looking for NFL success

Speed kills careers quicker than anything else in the NFL.

IF YOU MISSED it over the weekend, Washington Huskies wide receiver John Ross broke the record for the 4o-yard dash when he clocked 4.22 seconds for the NFL Combine’s marquee event.

That put him 0.02 seconds ahead of Rondel Menendez and Chris Johnson who have shared the record since 2008.

There is, of course, some dispute about who actually holds the fastest 40-yard dash time in NFL Combine history.

Bo Jackson ran a hand-timed 4.12 in 1986 but the reliability of non-automated timing means it can’t be trusted.

However, when you take a closer look at the official top-10, any team thinking of moving Ross up their draft board might want to think again.

It’s not exactly a murderer’s row of talent.

2. 4.24 – Rondel Menendez (1999), Chris Johnson (2008)

Texans Titans Football Chris Johnson was tough to bring down. Mark Zaleski / PA/PA Images Mark Zaleski / PA/PA Images / PA/PA Images

Menendez was eventually drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft but his career was effectively over before it began when he suffered a torn meniscus in a pre-season game that same year.

Johnson is one of the few success stories on the list. He made three Pro Bowls between 2008 and 2010, and was NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 when he set the single season record of 2,509 yards from scrimmage.

4. 4.26 – Jerome Mathis (2005), Dri Archer (2014)

Bengals Steelers Football Dri Archer in the Steelers' bumble bee uniform. Don Wright / PA/PA Images Don Wright / PA/PA Images / PA/PA Images

Mathis’ first season was okay as a kick returner and saw him selected to the Pro Bowl that year. However, he followed it up with two injury plagued seasons before his career eventually fizzled out in the Arena Football League in 2011.

Archer was drafted by the Steelers with the 97th overall pick in 2014 but was released by November the following year. He has not played an NFL snap since.

6. 4.27 – Stanford Routt (2005), Marquise Goodwin (2013)

Redskins Raiders Football Stanford Rout had a decent career as a back-up. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Routt had one of the longer careers of the guys on our list, playing in the NFL for three different teams over the course of eight seasons after being drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2005 Draft. However, only three times in his career did he start more than 10 games.

Goodwin went to the 2012 Olympic Games to represent the US at the long jump so everyone knew he had speed to burn. After being drafted by the Bills in 2013, he has started just 10 games over four seasons, nine of them last year when he caught three touchdowns.

8.  4.28 – Champ Bailey (1999), Jacoby Ford (2010), DeMarcus Van Dyke (2011), JJ Nelson (2015)

Super Bowl Football Champ Bailey gets torched during Super Bowl XLVIII. Chris O'Meara / PA/PA Images Chris O'Meara / PA/PA Images / PA/PA Images

Bailey is the most successful player on our list, retiring after 15 NFL seasons during which he went to 12 Pro Bowls. Though drafted by Washington (seventh overall), he is best remembered during his time with Denver.

Ford spent all four of his NFL seasons with the Oakland Raiders during which time the wide receiver started just 13 games, scoring three touchdowns.

Van Dyke was also drafted by the Raiders, starting just four games before moving on to the Steelers where he started none. The defensive back left the league in 2013.

Wide receiver JJ Nelson has managed eight touchdowns in eight starts for the Arizona Cardinals over two seasons, not bad considering he has only 45 receptions in his entire NFL career.

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