NFL 5 all-time rushing leaders and 40 times

  1. Emmitt Smith - 4.7 seconds
  2. Walter Payton - 4.6 seconds
  3. Frank Gore - 4.58 seconds
  4. Barry Sanders - 4.37 seconds
  5. Adrian Peterson - 4.4 seconds
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I have been looking into this recently. Along with that been looking at their avg yards per carry. And I have to admit, seeing so many great running backs with sub par 5 yards per carry in a full year did surprise me.

Just seen CEH ran a 4.47 40 yard dash on his recruiting profile before joining LSU in 2016.

Seems he was expected to run a 4.6 at combine. But with that said, Fantasy pros said,

At his size (5’7/207), the 40-yard dash time doesn’t look great in a vacuum. However, we need to note the type of player that CEH is and how he succeeds as a RB. He wins with burst, great contact balance, and fantastic change of direction. This was a drill that CEH wasn’t expected to run extremely well in, but as long as he could run faster than a 4.66 or so, his stock was going to remain the same. For him to run slightly faster is an added bonus…CEH also showed off his lower body explosiveness by jumping 39.5 inches in the vertical jump, which is a great number. For the time being, Edwards-Helaire belongs in the first round Dynasty rookie draft conversation and should fall into a very favorable situation for fantasy football right out of the gates.

Honestly, I have never understood the 40 times …

When does a NFL RB run in a game in a straight line without pads or being rushed by the defensive players trying to knock him down? Never

There is no true application here imho…

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I agree.

Signed Teez Tabor


There is a reason we call it the underwear Olympics. The 40 time is a data point. But speed shows up on tape.

The type of runners that succeed the most without speed are the ones with power.

I will disagree. Speed greatly increases a RB’s ability to take it to the house. It also changes when they get in space. A fast RB in space will usually get a few extra yards.

Now with that said. I think there are plenty of successfully RB’s with less than stellar speed (Blount) and those RB’s have to have some ability to break tackles. They need to hit the hole hard and get yards quickly.

Yes , common sense says once you get open space, the speed come in… but you have to get to it… blocking, vision etc…

now, we are in opinions here… I prefer a RB who will get +3.5 yards consistently, which will produce 1st downs, keeping the ball and controlling TOP more. and that RB needs more than speed, like passpro abilities.

the idea that it seems the 40 dash time is given so much credence is wrong.

but that me! :wink:

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I wonder though how he would have done on a team that didn’t have a HOF OG and bunch of All Pros on the OL. I’m guessing not quite as well.

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Smith never ran better than a 4.5 40-yard dash, but it was his ability to change direction on a dime without losing speed that made him so special. Football isn’t played on a straight line and that’s why it’s not a given that a 4.3 40-yard dash will translate to great rushing numbers.


True, for every CJ2K there are bushels of Jahvid Bests and Ty Johnsons

Honestly vision seems to be that thing that seems difficult to measure and majorly important in outcome.


Vision and a “feel” for where blockers and the play will flow are the hardest thing to measure. Some guys have brains that are constantly seeing and computing the flow of players and where a hole will open-up…and others like Aaron Brown run 4.3 into the back of the O-line.

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Ty is faster than all of them.
It’s instinct.

That sounds more like Dwayne Washington. Aaron Brown almost always ran out of bounds or broke it outside. He didn’t like contact.

Or ran the wrong direction for the play.

to me the 40 time displays each RB’s burst or lack of it, evaluators get a good look at how they run, how fast one RB than another, do they have break-away speed, how agile are they, how quick can a RB go from A to B, what different styles of running these guys use or have, what effort are they willing to put out…that kind of thing.

I agree with this. Both slow RB’s and WR’s can be very successful if they are good enough with the rest of their game. But speed does have its advantages.

Speed kills … but you can’t have just speed or all you have is Marvin Hall and Ty Johnson.

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