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NFL combine drills explained: 40-yard dash

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The 40-yard dash is the marquee event at the combine and is sometimes referred to as the "money" drill.

Joe Robbins

The NFL combine features a variety of drills, but what do they all mean? Next we're going to explain the 40-yard dash.

Everyone knows the premise of the 40-yard dash, the athlete tries to run 40 yards as fast as they can and impress with their speed, but the athlete's 40 time tells you a lot more than just their speed. It gives you a players acceleration as well, especially in shorter areas within the splits, like the 10 and 20-yard split.

For positions that require speed, teams will generally like to see the players run the 40-yard dash in the 4.2 to 4.5 range, anything over that and some questions will begin to arise about the players speed. One has to remember however, that timed speed and game speed aren't the same in instances like this.

Record holder: Chris Johnson, Marquise Goodwin and Rondel Melendez all ran a 4.24 officially. Bo Jackson reportedly ran a 4.12 hand-timed 40-yard dash at the 1986 combine.