Justin Gatlin 4.42 40 Yard Dash

This just in from NFL Pro day Updates:

WR Justin Gatlin (5-11 7/8, 195): Ran a 4.45 and a 4.42 in the 40. Had a 40 ½-inch vertical jump, 11-foot long jump, 4.4 short shuttle and 7.36 cone drill and 12 reps in the bench press. The former Olympic sprinter faces long odds of getting signed.

The “WR” is for Wide Receiver, not World Record holder. I do have a one track mind.

This is a combine 40 yard dash, as opposed to a 40 yard split on a track surface as in Reggie Bush’s 4.33 40 Yard Dash. A 4.42 electronic 40 yard dash is still impressive despite having a 9.77 100 meter dash in your repertoire.

The 11 foot standing long jump is very good considering the world record is 12′ 4″ by a shot putter.

I am amazed that Gatlin could only manage 12 reps in the bench press with 225lb (100kg). Heck, even I could do that and I’m a 44 year old Geezerjock.

But at the end of the day, it’s how well you can catch the ball and how your body can take the punishment of a 16 game NFL season. I certainly couldn’t do that!

And if you don’t make the NFL draft, then run over to the Canadian CFL draft and try your luck in a 110 yard field, 12 man, 18 game season!

Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at SpeedEndurance.com
I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
  • Those numbers show power, and explosiveness 11 ft standing long jump and a 40 in vertical.

    The 4.42 is funny being that he does have a 9.77 100m dash time. Not only that this is a trained sprint athlete that has one of the best starts in track and field and he goes a fast 4.42, When they run 4.3 and 4.2 after training for only 8 weeks.
    So that brings you back to the question; if he races reggie bush in a 40, who would win?
    I bet that reggie would be 5 meter behind him at 40 yards or anyone else that is claiming 4.3 and sub 4.3 40 times.

    The other issue is how many other athletes have a 40 in vertical and a 11 foot standing long jump from the football combine?

  • Yes, but then again I don’t quite buy those 40yds times.
    I bet they are wind assisted, most of them.
    Then I saw one chap, at least doing ‘the Alan Wells’ -start,ie one hand in the air, but then again, does it actually matter?
    Regarding Gatlin, maybe he hadn’t taken any minerals nor vitamins when he didn’t manage 12 of those bench presses(?). Or he was simply being lazy or hadn’t trained for a while.

  • @Harri – I agree, he might have been lazy on the bench training, but I think he has other worries and concerns on his mind!

  • @Adarian – we should compare WR to WR positions. From the article:

    » WR Chaz Schilens (6-4, 208): Ran the 40 in 4.38 and 4.39, had a 43-inch vertical jump, 10-foot, 3-inch long jump, 4.25 short shuttle, 6.84 cone drill, and ran position drills.

    » WR Mark Bradford (6-1, 215): Ran the 40 in 4.49 and 4.55, had a 41-inch vertical jump, 11-foot 1-inch long jump, 4.26 short shuttle, 6.93 cone drills, ran position drills and kept his combine numbers for everything else.

    » WR Taj Smith (6-0 ½, 187): Ran the 40 in 4.43 and 4.53, a 38 ½-inch vertical jump, 10-foot, 7-inch long jump, 4.08 short shuttle, 6.72 cone drill and kept his numbers from the combine for everything else. He did not do position drills because there was no quarterback on hand.

    » WR Limas Sweed (6-4 ¼, 210): Ran the 40 in 4.50 and 4.51, had a 37 ½-inch vertical jump, 10-foot, 8-inch long jump, 4.33 short shuttle, 7.14 cone drill, ran position drills and looked good catching the ball.

  • I agree with Adarian and with Jimson Lee.I do understand that these men are professional athletes/football players, and they ARE fast, but not that fast.
    Gatlin would beat them, and Borzov would have sent them home packing.
    Well, that aside, but there are clocked sprint times I call ‘Lausanne’-clockings.

  • I have to say you guys have more knowledge about this subject than I.
    But when I was a young chap, 13-15yrs, I was the fasted guy from the blocks in my village in Finland, and beyond the village as well.

  • @Harri – If you think Lausanne had bad readings, remember Edmonton 2001 WC? Those were very questionable wind readings!

  • The report from scouts is that Justin had top end speed but was not as explosive as the other WR at the pro-day. In other words he didn’t have a very good start but once he got going he was fast.

    I will post the link to the quotes later.

  • Do you know that DWAYNE CHAMBERS has started a new career as a rugby player with Castleford Rugby League Club in England.
    They say that he is not quite ready yet, so he will be playing in the reserves for the time being to get used to the game.
    There are some athletes who made it in the Rugby game; most famous was probably Eric Liddell, and as a matter of fact he was rugby player originally, and then there was the shot putter Arthur Rowe.
    His speed should be overwhelming compared to other rugby players.
    But it will be interesting to see what happens.

  • To be honest I cannot remember now, but I should think so.
    He was featured on TV and he looked like, dare I say, that the environment was not what he is used to and he looked a bit, I don’t know, embarrassed(?).
    You get me, he looked like he is in the wrong place, accidentally, like he is doing this against his will, or something like that.

  • On another subject what are the chances of someone doing bad a pro-day?
    Most are closed to the public.
    Plus, how would the school look, how would the strength coach looked if the athletes didn’t perform well.

    At the NFL combine I think the highest vertical was around 36 inches and the longest standing long jump was just over 10 feet, and they had a few sub 4.4 40/

    How many of the Tennessee athletes put up better numbers on a percentage basis?

    2 percent of the NFL combine athletes run sub 4.4, Tennessee had a 70 percent rate. Zero percent 40 inch verticals, Tennessee 90 percent.

    What are the odds really?

  • @Adarian – I agree, I hate to think your entire future is based on a few “tests”. Scouts has notes from 10 game seasons x 4 years to look at (plus their stats). The combine should be icing on the cake.

    Imagine if in track we were tested for reaction time? 0.100 would be excellent, and 0.250 horrible (which I’ve seen for Quarter Milers, or in the NCAA where one false start and your gone)

    If we took reaction time seriously, we might as well subtract it from the actual time. Afterall, it is THE ACTUAL running time!

    Ben Johnson’s 9.79 would really be a 9.65 (less 0.120)

  • heres the thing…justin gatlin ran 3.9-4.0 40m sprint with the best top speed in the world in 2006….asafa powell runs roughly a 3.8-3.9 40 meter sprint and justin gatlin smoked his ass everytime and never lost a race in his career. Justin Gatlin has not trained professionally since 2006 and has not competed because the rules only let him train on his own with no professionals whatsoever….if he gets reinstated, watch his 40 time go below 4.0 i can guarantee that…its JUSTIN GATLIN!!!……o yeah, reggie bush ran a 4.33 in high school while running a 10.43 100m sprint….football players have okay 40 times but absolutely no top speed whatsoever

  • @Sprinter – yes, I agree with you. Justin is definitely distracted right now, and is probably just maintaining his fitness, waiting for his appeal.

  • Gatlin just killed the average person’s perception of the track athlete, or greatly enhanced their perception of the football athlete. Here’s why:
    gatlin is: 1. not training much. 2. off the juice . In his 9.7 form, he’s through the 40 yards in 3.95-4.05, no questions, just simple math/physics of that run. Slower than 4.05 you’ve got no chance of breaking 9.9 in the 100 meters (remember, 100 meters is about 110 yards, and those sub 9.8 times are electronic! A 9.74 electronic 100 meters is like a 8.70 hand timed 100 yards ! (minus 0.8 seconds for the added 9.4 yards and minus 0.24 seconds for the electronic/hand time conversion.))
    Read that again. 8.70 100 yards. I don’t care what your top end speed is! if gatlin runs 4.4 for the 40 yard, that means his last 60 yards is 4.3? LOL. No, what’s going on is that Gatlin has been reduced back to the mere “mortal” speed of 10.6-10.8 100 meter times until he can find a “coach” (read: “pharmacist”) that can bring him back to 9.7 form. I’ve timed a lot of elite sprinters off video through 40 yards in 100 meter races. Granted, it’s approximate, but good quality video lets you see the hurdle markers, and you can get to within a few inches of where 40 yards is. 10 flat in the 100 meters equates to a 4.05 40 yard, both electronic timing. You take out reaction and it’s 3.95 or so.
    what i am trying to say: elite sprinters are ridiculously faster than anything that exists in the NFL. Again, Gatlin just killed the average person’s perception of the track athlete, or greatly enhanced their perception of the football athlete.

  • I’m surprised to see that nobody actually explained this phenomenon. First, a 40 yard dash is supposed to show how fast a defensive football player can reach the punt return man. (Avg. 40 yard punt with a 4.5 second hang time) So goes the logic that anything under 4.5 seconds is a good time. This is it’s only application- it is never contested in track and field..mostly because it is an irrelevant distance.

    Second, when measuring the 40 yard dash the NFL does not start the clock until the runner starts. The runner does not have to hear a gun and then react to that and then run. The average reaction time is .24 seconds- that is a world of a difference in someone’s 40 time. If it is electronic, which I would imagine is pretty standard now.. the human timer “starts” the electronic timer when the player starts, thus eliminating the .24 second reaction time. A computer stops the clock when the player crosses the finish line. A hand timed 40 have variations of around 0.5 seconds rendering these times useless for any comparisons. The NFL system would be considered partial electronic since a human starts the clock. In track and field, the starting gun is connected to the electronic timing system so when the trigger is pulled the clock is started and the runners react.

    Why the NFL does not consider reaction speed important is beyond me. Players have to react to the ball being hiked. The NFL way of doing it was probably born out of showing that their atheletes were at or better than the fastest men in the world. Obviously, that is pure speculation but it’s the only logical assumption I can come up with. In reality, any world class sprinter would not be able to be touched by 99.9% of NFL players.

    As for Gatlin, he is either out of shape, injured, or just is not used to not reacting to a gun. I’d say out of shape although it’s really anyone’s guess. It just doesn’t follow that his start isn’t better than any football player- and the fact that no NFL player comes close to his sub 10 100m times.

  • I agree with Tom 100%, the NFL Combine 40-yard is only partially automatic timed and the clock doesn’t start until you start moving.

    So instead of roughly 0.24 seconds being added to your time as soon the gun goes off, you get to take that OFF your time, plus the human who reacts and stats the clock has to REACT to the athlete who is already running.

    So unlike a hand timed (or partially) hand timed where both timer and athlete are reacting are reacting to the same gun, the athlete moves and then the timer reacts. Both of those items could easily remove 0.5 seconds from ones time, because by the time the athlete is moving he’s already 0.24 into his sprint and he’s already benefiting from not having that 0.24 added to his time from having to react to the gun.

    Think: the guy is 0.24 seconds into his sprint by the time the clock starts, and he wasn’t in the blocks for 0.24 seconds after the gun went off.

    These 4.2s and 4.3s, would be 4.7s and 4.8s if timed by IAAF standards.

    Plus on the combine today they were saying how you’re decelerating towards the end of the 40-yard, NO top sprinter in college (let alone world class) is decelerating at that point, more like accelerating through 50-60 meters.

    A track sprinter would smoke these guys in the 60, let alone the 100.