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CBs Better Be Fast at Combine (Updated)

By Matt Schauf | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT

Update: I originally used ESPN.com's historic Scouting Combine numbers for most of the 40-yard dash times below. I realized Monday that not all of those numbers represented the official times. So all Combine numbers on this list now come from NFLCombineResults.com. (The Pro Day numbers from NFL Draft Scout, which is now part of CBS Sports.)

The alterations don't change the theme here. In fact, they actually lowered the average 40 time at the position: now just under 4.44 rather than just under 4.45. The point remains this: Despite some noteworthy exceptions, speed rules at corner.

If you're like us, you've spent the past few days watching more of the NFL Scouting Combine footage than is probably healthy.

You can argue about how useful all these drills are. You can argue about how the 40-yard dash doesn't translate to football speed. But at some point, speed matters.

Nowhere does it matter more than at cornerback. That's why no other position faces more 40-time scrutiny at the Scouting Combine. But how fast do you have to be?

Fair question. And the answer seems to be ... pretty fast.

In advance of Monday's DB workouts, we took a look at just how fast you need to be to start at CB in the NFL.

This isn't a scientific study. We took the top 60 CBs in 2014 snaps played, according to Pro Football Focus' numbers -- then added a few other starters who lost some time to injuries. Among those 69 guys, the average 40 time came out to 4.4386. Of the 69 players, 49 ran the 40 in less than 4.50 seconds.

So if you're running on Monday, here's hoping you crack 4.50.

And if you're just some dude reading this because you don't feel like doing your actual work or shoveling your driveway, here's the full list of cornerbacks included.

(Place refers to where that player ranked in his class at the Combine.)

Player Team Snaps Draft Yr Round 40 time 40 Rank
Josh Robinson MIN 690 2012 3rd 4.29 1st
D. Rodgers-Cromartie NYG 767 2008 1st 4.29 1st
Sam Shields GB 834 2010 UDFA 4.3 Pro Day
Jason McCourty TEN 1103 2009 6th 4.3 Pro Day
Patrick Peterson ARI 994 2011 1st 4.31 2nd
Johnathan Joseph HOU 875 2006 1st 4.31 1st
Orlando Scandrick DAL 885 2008 5th 4.32 4th
Tim Jennings CHI 1028 2006 2nd 4.32 2nd
D.J. Hayden OAK 603 2013 1st 4.33 Pro Day
Coty Sensabaugh TEN 737 2012 4th 4.33 2nd
Brice McCain PIT 615 2009 6th 4.33 Pro Day
Cortland Finnegan MIA 712 2006 7th 4.34 Pro Day
Lardarius Webb BAL 800 2009 3rd 4.35 1st
Darius Slay DET 1039 2013 2nd 4.36 1st
Chris Culliver SF 839 2011 3rd 4.36 3rd
Buster Skrine CLE 1152 2011 5th 4.37 4th
Terence Newman CIN 883 2003 1st 4.37 3rd
Desmond Trufant ATL 1099 2013 1st 4.38 3rd
Stephon Gilmore BUF 873 2012 1st 4.38 T-4th
Prince Amukamara NYG 464 2011 1st 4.38 T-5th
Leodis McKelvin BUF 551 2008 1st 4.38 T-8th
Darrelle Revis NE 1032 2007 1st 4.38 Pro Day
Adam Jones CIN 789 2005 1st 4.38 Pro Day
Bradley Roby DEN 818 2014 1st 4.39 4th
Leon Hall CIN 934 2007 1st 4.39 T-4th
Kareem Jackson HOU 785 2010 1st 4.4 5th
Vontae Davis IND 839 2009 1st 4.4 2nd
Janoris Jenkins STL 855 2012 2nd 4.41 6th
Shareece Wright SD 853 2011 3rd 4.41 8th
Darrin Walls NYJ 774 2011 UDFA 4.42 Pro Day
Jimmy Smith BAL 476 2011 1st 4.42 T-9th
Corey Graham BUF 706 2007 5th 4.42
Xavier Rhodes MIN 1052 2013 1st 4.43 11th
Byron Maxwell SEA 717 2011 6th 4.43 T-11th
Cary Williams PHI 1198 2008 7th 4.43 Pro Day
Brandon Carr DAL 1028 2008 5th 4.43 Pro Day
E.J. Gaines STL 964 2014 6th 4.44 T-8th
David Amerson WAS 926 2013 2nd 4.44 T-12th
Aqib Talib DEN 934 2008 1st 4.44 18th
Greg Toler IND 984 2009 4th 4.45 Pro Day
Tarell Brown OAK 1000 2007 5th 4.45 13th
Rashean Mathis DET 1050 2003 2nd 4.45 T-9th
Dwayne Gratz JAC 871 2013 3rd 4.47 15th
Bradley Fletcher PHI 1094 2009 3rd 4.47 T-8th
Keenan Lewis NO 918 2009 3rd 4.47 T-8th
Antonio Cromartie ARI 1012 2006 1st 4.47 T-10th
Chris Harris DEN 1004 2011 UDFA 4.48 Pro Day
William Gay PIT 878 2007 5th 4.48 Pro Day
Kyle Fuller CHI 877 2014 1st 4.49 T-13th
Sean Smith KC 1062 2009 2nd 4.5 T-15th
Robert McClain ATL 642 2010 7th 4.51 Pro Day
Captain Munnerlyn MIN 1089 2009 7th 4.51 T-20th
Jerraud Powers ARI 761 2009 3rd 4.51 T-20th
Alterraun Verner TB 880 2010 4th 4.52 T-17th
Joe Haden CLE 1044 2010 1st 4.52 T-17th
Blidi Wreh-Wilson TEN 682 2013 3rd 4.53 T-21st
Nickell Robey BUF 665 2013 UDFA 4.53 T-21st
Corey White NO 772 2012 5th 4.53 T-24th
Demetrius McCray JAC 834 2013 7th 4.54 T-24th
Richard Sherman SEA 989 2011 5th 4.54 T-26th
Sterling Moore DAL 713 2011 UDFA 4.54 Pro Day
Brandon Flowers SD 837 2008 2nd 4.55 28th
Tramon Williams GB 1032 2007 UDFA 4.57 Pro Day
Brent Grimes MIA 1026 2007 UDFA 4.57 Pro Day
Perrish Cox SF 965 2010 5th 4.58 21st
Johnthan Banks TB 937 2013 2nd 4.61 32nd
Josh Norman CAR 647 2012 5th 4.61 T-30th
Bashaud Breeland WAS 885 2014 4th 4.62 31st
Bene Benwikere CAR 459 2014 5th 4.63 T-32nd
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Matt Schauf, Editor
Matt has earned two Fantasy Pros accuracy awards for IDP rankings and won thousands of dollars as a player across best ball, dynasty, and high-stakes fantasy formats. He has been creating fantasy football content for more than 20 years, with work featured by Sporting News, Rotoworld, Athlon, Sirius XM, and others. He's been with Draft Sharks since 2011.
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