Not record-setting, but Mays still sets DB pace

INDIANAPOLIS — The official 40-yard dash times have just been released for the defensive backs, and Taylor Mays was indeed the fastest, just not with the 4.24 unofficial time that was originally reported.

The USC safety was officially clocked with a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, placing him tied for ninth overall among all participants at the NFL Scouting Combine, behind wide receivers Jacoby Ford, Taylor Price, Emmanuel Sanders and Golden Tate, running backs Jahvid Best and C.J. Spiller, tight end Dorin Dickerson and specialist Trindon Holliday.

The official times are usually slower than the unofficial times recorded by NFL Network, which uses a person with a hand-held timer situated right at the finish line. The official times are recorded electronically and take a while to process and get released. The electronic timing is more exact than the human hand-held timing, so the times produced electronically are the official ones. It’s not certain why there was such a large discrepancy in Mays’ two times.

Chris Johnson has the fastest 40 time at the combine since 2000, when official times were first recorded. Deion Sanders is believed to have recorded the combine’s only sub-4.2-second 40, in 1989 when he entered the draft out of Florida State. But Sanders’ unofficial times vary, depending on which scout’s hand-held stopwatch you believe.

Despite Mays’ slower time, he still made a statement by being the fastest defensive back at the combine, and he also posted an impressive 41-inch vertical jump, third only to Fresno State’s A.J. Jefferson and Tennessee’s Eric Berry.

Mays is Mike Mayock‘s third-ranked safety, behind Texas’ Earl Thomas and Berry.

Top 10 official 40-yard dash times at this year’s combine:

Top official 40-yard dash times since 2000, when official times were first recorded.:

  • 4.24: Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina (2008)
  • 4.28: Jerome Mathis, WR, Hampton (2005)
  • 4.28: Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson (2010)
  • 4.29: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State (2008)
  • 4.29: Stanford Routt, CB, Houston (2005)
  • 4.29: Fabian Washington, CB, Nebraska (2005)
  • 4:30: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland (2009)
  • 4.30: Yamon Figurs, WR, Kansas State (2007)
  • 4.30: Darrent Williams, CB, Oklahoma State (2005)
  • 4.31: Tyvon Branch, CB, Connecticut (2008)
  • 4.31: Justin King, CB, Penn State (2008)
  • 4.31: Jonathan Joseph, CB, South Carolina (2006)
  • 4.31: Aaron Lockett, WR, Kansas State (2002)
  • 4.31: Santana Moss, WR, Miami (Fla.) (2001)

Jason Feller

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