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NFL Combine: 2018 class has tough act to follow

By Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
The NFL logo is displayed during the first round of the NFL Draft on April 30, 2015 in Chicago. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/fca064fd3f7e3b529d0afceb29b84e97/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The NFL logo is displayed during the first round of the NFL Draft on April 30, 2015 in Chicago. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

The popular physical events at last year's NFL Scouting Combine featured dramatic results in several areas.

It should be a hard act to follow when this year's 336 participating prospects put on their show of athleticism when the Combine convenes next week in Indianapolis, starting Wednesday, February 28, with on-field workouts held March 2-5.

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Last year's record-book rewrite was led by a 40-yard time of 4.22 seconds by Washington wide receiver John Ross. By the time it was over, 10 marks were good enough to rank among the best Combine results of the century in data maintained exclusively by NFLDraftScout.com, which has covered the draft since 1987.

This year, LSU cornerback Donte Jackson already boasted that he aims to shoot down Ross' time. Even after a close look at this 2018 group, Jackson may be the only prospect with a realistic chance to touch Ross' time.

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It was nine years between 40-yard records when Ross' 4.22 bested the mark of former East Carolina running back Chris Johnson, who was clocked in 4.24 seconds in 2008.

But the 2017 Combine class was diverse as well as dynamic.

Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu exploded into the notebooks of scouts with a vertical jump of 44 inches (fifth best of the century) and a broad jump of 11 feet, 8 inches. That is second behind only the best in world history at 12 feet, 3 inches by cornerback Byron Jones, a Connecticut alum who soared into international record books at the 2015 combine.

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Joining Melifonwu last year was a group of the best broad jumpers in combine history as three others recorded an 11-foot, 3-inch leap (tied for sixth best of century) -- Georgia wide receiver Robert Davis, LSU wide receiver Malachi Dupre and UCLA cornerback Fabian Moreau.

NFLDraftScout.com has covered the draft since 1987 and tracks more than 11,000 pre-draft players at any one time each year. It currently lists more than 3,800 players who are technically eligible for the 2018 draft, and rates the top 1,000.

NFLDraftScout.com is the only draft media service, including former client NFL.com, that annually logged and analyzed draft and combine workout data back into the 1990s.

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Best Combine Workouts This Century

Records kept by NFLDraftScout.com

Fastest 40 Yard Dash (electronic times)

4.22 -- John Ross, (WR), Washington -- 2017

4.24 -- Chris Johnson, (RB), East Carolina -- 2008

4.26 -- Dri Archer, (WR), Kent State -- 2014

4.27 -- Marquise Goodwin, (WR), Texas -- 2013

4.28 -- Jacoby Ford, (WR), Clemson -- 2010

4.28 -- J.J. Nelson, (WR), Alabama-Birmingham -- 2015

4.28 -- Jalen Myrick, (CB), Minnesota -- 2017

4.30 -- Triandos Luke, (WR), Alabama -- 2004

4.30 -- Darrius Heyward-Bey, (WR), Maryland -- 2009

4.31 -- Carlos Francis, (WR), Texas Tech -- 2004

4.31 -- Curtis Samuel, (WR), Ohio State -- 2017

4.31 -- Tyvon Branch, (CB), Connecticut -- 2008

4.31 -- Trae Waynes, (CB), Michigan State -- 2015

4.31 -- Keith Marshall, (RB), Georgia -- 2016

4.31 -- Justin King, (CB), Penn State -- 2008

4.32 -- Will Fuller, (WR), Notre Dame -- 2016

4.32 -- Jerome Mathis, (WR), Hampton -- 2005

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4.32 -- Orlando Scandrick, (CB), Boise State -- 2008

4.32 -- Johnathan Joseph, (CB), South Carolina -- 2006

4.33 -- Jerious Norwood, (RB), Mississippi State -- 2006

4.33 -- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, (CB), Tennessee State -- 2008

4.33 -- Brandin Cooks, (WR), Oregon State -- 2014

4.33 -- Phillip Dorsett, (WR), Miami (FL) -- 2015

4.33 -- Darren McFadden, (RB), Arkansas -- 2008

4.33 -- Mike Wallace, (WR), Mississippi -- 2009

Most 225-Pound Bench Reps

49 -- Stephen Paea, (DT), Oregon State -- 2011

45 -- Mike Kudla, (DE), Ohio State -- 2006

45 -- Mitch Petrus, (OG), Arkansas -- 2010

45 -- Leif Larsen, (DT), Texas-El Paso -- 2000

44 -- Dontari Poe, (DT), Memphis -- 2012

44 -- Jeff Owens, (DT), Georgia -- 2010

44 -- Brodrick Bunkley, (DT), Florida State -- 2006

43 -- Scott Young, (OG), Brigham Young -- 2005

42 -- Tank Tyler, (DT), North Carolina State -- 2007

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42 -- Russell Bodine, (OG), North Carolina -- 2014

42 -- Isaac Sopoaga, (DT), Hawaii -- 2004

41 -- Terna Nande, (OLB), Miami (OH) -- 2006

41 -- Igor Olshansky, (DT), Oregon -- 2004

41 -- David Molk, (C), Michigan -- 2012

40 -- Manny Ramirez, (OG), Baylor -- 2007

40 -- Justin Blalock, (OG), Texas -- 2007

39 -- Linval Joseph, (DT), East Carolina -- 2010

39 -- Louis Vasquez, (OG), Texas Tech -- 2009

38 -- Marvin Austin, (DT), North Carolina -- 2011

38 -- Brandon Williams, (DT), Missouri Southern -- 2013

38 -- Margus Hunt, (DE), Southern Methodist -- 2013

38 -- Tony Pashos, (OT), Illinois -- 2003

38 -- Russell Okung, (OT), Oklahoma State -- 2010

37 -- Haloti Ngata, (DT), Oregon -- 2006

37 -- Terrance Taylor, (DT), Michigan -- 2009

Highest Vertical Jump

46 -- Gerald Sensabaugh, (FS), North Carolina -- 2005

45 1/2 -- Cameron Wake, (OLB), Penn State -- 2005

45 -- Chris McKenzie, (CB), Arizona State -- 2005

45 -- Donald Washington, (CB), Ohio State -- 2009

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45 -- Chris Chambers, (WR), Wisconsin -- 2001

45 -- Chris Conley, (WR), Georgia -- 2015

44 1/2 -- Byron Jones, (CB), Connecticut -- 2015

44 -- A.J. Jefferson, (CB), Fresno State -- 2010

44 -- Obi Melifonwu, (SS), Connecticut -- 2017

43 1/2 -- Speedy Noil, (WR), Texas AM -- 2017

43 1/2 -- Dorin Dickerson, (TE), Pittsburgh -- 2010

43 1/2 -- Kashif Moore, (WR), Connecticut -- 2012

43 1/2 -- Dustin Fox, (FS), Ohio State -- 2005

43 1/2 -- Kevin Kasper, (WR), Iowa -- 2001

43 1/2 -- Marcus Williams, (FS), Utah -- 2017

43 -- Cedric James, (WR), Texas Christian -- 2001

43 -- Eric Berry, (FS), Tennessee -- 2010

43 -- Darius Butler, (CB), Connecticut -- 2009

43 -- Christine Michael, (RB), Texas AM -- 2013

43 -- Scott Starks, (CB), Wisconsin -- 2005

42 1/2 -- Jarett Dillard, (WR), Rice -- 2009

42 1/2 -- Davis Tull, (OLB), Chattanooga -- 2015

42 1/2 -- Nate Burleson, (WR), Nevada -- 2003

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42 1/2 -- Brock Williams, (CB), Notre Dame -- 2001

42 1/2 -- Virgil Green, (TE), Nevada -- 2011

Longest Broad Jump

12'03" -- Byron Jones, (CB), Connecticut -- 2015

11'08" -- Obi Melifonwu, (SS), Connecticut -- 2017

11'07" -- Jamie Collins, (OLB), Southern Miss -- 2013

11'07" -- Chris Conley, (WR), Georgia -- 2015

11'06" -- Alvin Dupree, (DE), Kentucky -- 2015

11'05" -- Scott Starks, (CB), Wisconsin -- 2005

11'05" -- Justin Fargas, (RB), Southern California -- 2003

11'04" -- Jerome Simpson, (WR), Coastal Carolina -- 2008

11'04" -- Justin Hunter, (WR), Tennessee -- 2013

11'04" -- Chris McKenzie, (CB), Arizona State -- 2005

11'04" -- Terence Newman, (CB), Kansas State -- 2003

11'03" -- Jalen Ramsey, (FS), Florida State -- 2016

11'03" -- Daniel Lasco, (RB), California -- 2016

11'03" -- Robert Davis, (WR), Georgia State -- 2017

11'03" -- Boss Bailey, (OLB), Georgia -- 2003

11'03" -- Donald Washington, (CB), Ohio State -- 2009

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11'03" -- Hilton Alexander, (WR), Morris Brown -- 2001

11'03" -- Julio Jones, (WR), Alabama -- 2011

11'03" -- Malachi Dupre, (WR), LSU -- 2017

11'03" -- Fabian Moreau, (CB), UCLA -- 2017

11'02" -- Earl Wolff, (SS), North Carolina State -- 2013

11'02" -- Cedric James, (WR), Texas Christian -- 2001

11'02" -- Chris Chambers, (WR), Wisconsin -- 2001

11'02" -- Dekoda Watson, (OLB), Florida State -- 2010

11'02" -- Lache Seastrunk, (RB), Baylor -- 2014

Highest Vertical Jump

46 -- Gerald Sensabaugh, (FS), North Carolina -- 2005

45 1/2 -- Cameron Wake, (OLB), Penn State -- 2005

45 -- Chris McKenzie, (CB), Arizona State -- 2005

45 -- Donald Washington, (CB), Ohio State -- 2009

45 -- Chris Chambers, (WR), Wisconsin -- 2001

45 -- Chris Conley, (WR), Georgia -- 2015

44 1/2 -- Byron Jones, (CB), Connecticut -- 2015

44 -- A.J. Jefferson, (CB), Fresno State -- 2010

44 -- Obi Melifonwu, (SS), Connecticut -- 2017

43 1/2 -- Speedy Noil, (WR), Texas AM -- 2017

43 1/2 -- Dorin Dickerson, (TE), Pittsburgh -- 2010

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43 1/2 -- Kashif Moore, (WR), Connecticut -- 2012

43 1/2 -- Dustin Fox, (FS), Ohio State -- 2005

43 1/2 -- Kevin Kasper, (WR), Iowa -- 2001

43 1/2 -- Marcus Williams, (FS), Utah -- 2017

43 -- Cedric James, (WR), Texas Christian -- 2001

43 -- Eric Berry, (FS), Tennessee -- 2010

43 -- Darius Butler, (CB), Connecticut -- 2009

43 -- Christine Michael, (RB), Texas AM -- 2013

43 -- Scott Starks, (CB), Wisconsin -- 2005

42 1/2 -- Jarett Dillard, (WR), Rice -- 2009

42 1/2 -- Davis Tull, (OLB), Chattanooga -- 2015

42 1/2 -- Nate Burleson, (WR), Nevada -- 2003

42 1/2 -- Brock Williams, (CB), Notre Dame -- 2001

42 1/2 -- Virgil Green, (TE), Nevada -- 2011

Longest Broad Jump

12'03" -- Byron Jones, (CB), Connecticut -- 2015

11'08" -- Obi Melifonwu, (SS), Connecticut -- 2017

11'07" -- Jamie Collins, (OLB), Southern Miss -- 2013

11'07" -- Chris Conley, (WR), Georgia -- 2015

11'06" -- Alvin Dupree, (DE), Kentucky -- 2015

11'05" -- Scott Starks, (CB), Wisconsin -- 2005

11'05" -- Justin Fargas, (RB), Southern California -- 2003

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11'04" -- Jerome Simpson, (WR), Coastal Carolina -- 2008

11'04" -- Justin Hunter, (WR), Tennessee -- 2013

11'04" -- Chris McKenzie, (CB), Arizona State -- 2005

11'04" -- Terence Newman, (CB), Kansas State -- 2003

11'03" -- Jalen Ramsey, (FS), Florida State -- 2016

11'03" -- Daniel Lasco, (RB), California -- 2016

11'03" -- Robert Davis, (WR), Georgia State -- 2017

11'03" -- Boss Bailey, (OLB), Georgia -- 2003

11'03" -- Donald Washington, (CB), Ohio State -- 2009

11'03" -- Hilton Alexander, (WR), Morris Brown -- 2001

11'03" -- Julio Jones, (WR), Alabama -- 2011

11'03" -- Malachi Dupre, (WR), LSU -- 2017

11'03" -- Fabian Moreau, (CB), UCLA -- 2017

11'02" -- Earl Wolff, (SS), North Carolina State -- 2013

11'02" -- Cedric James, (WR), Texas Christian -- 2001

11'02" -- Chris Chambers, (WR), Wisconsin -- 2001

11'02" -- Dekoda Watson, (OLB), Florida State -- 2010

11'02" -- Lache Seastrunk, (RB), Baylor -- 2014

--Frank Cooney, founder and publisher of The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com, covered the draft since 1967 and has been on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee for 25 years.

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