No Island for You: John Ross Breaks NFL Combine 40-Yard Dash Record in Nikes
Move over Chris Johnson, there’s a new speedster in town. Washington wide receiver John Ross “shattered” the nine-year-old NFL Combine 40-Yard Dash record set by the current Arizona Cardinals running back and longtime Tennessee Titans star, running it in 4.22 seconds. That’s a whole .02 seconds faster than the 4.24 CJ2K ran back in 2008.
Ross has always been fast (obviously), but the best 40 time he recorded in the past was 4.25 at the Washington Huskies Spring Combine last March. The receiver did, however, hint that he would try his best to break the record before the combine.
“I’m going to try,” said Ross. “I don’t want to say too much, [that] I’m just everything. But I’m definitely going to try. I’m definitely going to go for it.”
The 5’10, 188-pound Ross missed his entire 2015 season with a torn ACL, returning in 2016 with 81 catches for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns, putting him third in the nation behind only Corey Davis of Western Michigan and Carlos Henderson of Louisiana Tech.
Oddly enough, Ross chalks up his success this past season to the injury and the resulting recovery process.
“I think it gave me an advantage. I feel better, I feel stronger, and I think it helped me throughout my career.”
Ross still isn’t boasting a clean bill of health, however. The receiver opted to push his shoulder surgery back to March 14 in order to participate in the combine.
“I wanted to come here and enjoy this process. Not everyone can do this.”
The recovery process is expected to cost Ross 5-7 months, but he is confident he will be ready for the start of the 2017 NFL season.
Want more? Ross told the NFL Network team that he was fighting off cramps right before his run. The man may have been vying for Usain Bolt time in perfect condition. The cramps ended up limiting Ross for the rest of the day.
Sadly, Ross had on his Nikes for the Combine. Should he have worn Adidas, Ross would be deciding between either one million dollars or his own private island. That’s right, Adidas offered anyone who breaks the record in their shoes an island. Move over, Darrelle Revis.
Ross knew he had a shot, but he still decided to lace up his Nikes, ironically giving Adidas’s competitor publicity out of this whole island thing. When asked why he didn’t wear Adidas, Ross offered a classic response:
“Well, I can’t swim that well, so.”
Nonetheless, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock believes that the record-breaking performance won’t do much for Ross come the 2017 NFL Draft. Teams and scouts expected a blazing fast 40 time from Ross—it’s the injury issues that most of them can’t look past.
“I always say, fast guys run fast and slow guys run slow,” said Mayock. “It’s only a story when the opposite happens. “I knew John Ross was going to run 4.35, 4.30. When you say does it help him, I mean, he jumped 37 inches, he broad-jumped 11’1. He had an extremely athletic workout…The issue is going to be medical. He has a small frame, he’s had multiple knee operations, he’s going to get his shoulder done. Today, he cramped up. Couldn’t finish. That’s going to be a theme for him going forward. There’s no doubting the speed or the talent.”
To sum Mike up, Ross is fast, today simply confirmed it. At the end of the day, teams want a guy that they can rely on, and if Ross’s history of injuries and various nicks is any indicator, he could be hit or miss over the course of his professional career.
But, for now, let’s just marvel at an amazing feat of athleticism.