Texas WR Xavier Worthy Sets Combine 40-Yard Dash Record

Records are meant to be broken, and we just saw John Ross‘ seven-year record for the 40-yard dash fall. Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy set NFL history today. After watching Worthy deliver the day’s top 40 time of 4.25 seconds on his first run, the internet took notice. Worthy decided to challenge Ross’ record and ended up besting his first run with an unofficial time of 4.22 seconds, tying Ross’ long-standing record. Matt Miller of ESPN was the first to report Worthy’s official, record-breaking time of 4.21 seconds.

Top 40 times have been a mixed bag over the years. Sprint times like that don’t typically take a relatively unknown prospect and turn them into a first-round pick, but rarely does speed like that not improve a player’s draft stock. Players already seen as Day 1 picks may climb a little further up the board. Fringe top prospects could push their way into the first round. Mid-round prospects could work their way up to Day 2, late-round up to mid-, and undraftable prospects either sneak their way into the late rounds or became priority free agents.

The previous record-holder fell into that first group. Already considered a top wide receiver prospect following a redshirt junior year at Washington that saw him catch 81 passes for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns, Ross found himself getting selected in the top 10 draft picks. Injuries and an inability to crack the starting lineup in Cincinnati hindered Ross’ first two years in the league, though he proved effective as a redzone target in his sophomore season, catching seven touchdowns. He had a career-high of 506 receiving yards the following season, but ultimately, his rookie fifth-year option was declined, and after a one-year stint with the Giants and a futures deal with the Chiefs, the speedy receiver announced his retirement this past November.

Worthy falls into the second category of the prospects listed above. ESPN’s Mel Kiper lists him as the ninth-best wide receiver prospect in the draft, while Dane Brugler of The Athletic slots him in as the 10th-best wideout and the 46th-best prospect overall. In theory, that would land him securely in the second round of this year’s draft. With today’s record-setting performance, there’s a chance that some teams may be sliding him up their draft boards. It may not be enough to move him into Day 1, but if he interviews well and satisfies in other workouts, he could earn himself a fifth-year option.

Worthy proved in his first two seasons with the Longhorns that he could score, catching 21 touchdowns over the two-year span. He lost some touchdown catches to teammate Adonai Mitchell in 2023, with Mitchell snagging 11 touchdown grabs, but Worthy led the team in receiving yards and receptions every year he played in Austin. Mitchell is widely expected to be a first-round selection this April, and after today’s strong showing, Worthy may just join him there.

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