In a stadium that celebrates speed with Indy cars in the concourse, the wide receivers at the NFL scouting combine matched a record Thursday, the first night of on-field workouts.

Baylor’s Tyquan Thornton led the way as eight wide receivers clocked sub-4.4-second times in the 40-yard dash inside Lucas Oil Stadium. Thornton’s unofficial time of 4.21 was posted immediately after his run, which would have set a record for the combine, but all times are reviewed with the electronic timing equipment, and his official time was later determined to be 4.28, the fastest of the evening.

The group of pass catchers still left a contrail, as the eight sub-4.4 clockings tied the most by the wide receivers at the combine in any year evaluated since 2006. There were also eight wideouts under 4.4, set in 2007. Kansas State wide receiver Yamon Figurs ran the fastest 40 at the combine that year at 4.30.

Seven wide receivers cracked the 4.4 mark in 2019 — the same year current Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf ran the fastest recorded 40 in the event’s history for a player 225 pounds or heavier.


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Initially, the NFL reported that nine wide receivers had broken the mark, which would have been a record. But overnight, Alec Pierce of Cincinnati saw his time adjusted to 4.41 from 4.33, leaving the previous record intact.

Thornton had the only official time under 4.3, as Tennessee wide receiver Velus Jones Jr., who ran in the earlier group of receivers, had the next fastest official clocking at 4.31. Memphis wide receiver Calvin Austin III, who had already turned heads for his work in practices in his week at the Senior Bowl, was next fastest at 4.32. Austin chose not to run his second 40 a bit later.

SMU’s Danny Gray (4.33), Rutgers’ Bo Melton (4.34), North Dakota State’s Christian Watson (4.36), Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson (4.38) and Ohio State’s Chris Olave were the others to break 4.4.

Olave’s and Wilson’s times marked only the second occasion since 2006 that two wide receiver college teammates both ran sub-4.4 40 times at the combine, with the other coming in 2019 by Ohio State’s Terry McLaurin and Parris Campbell.

The other 40-yard dash that might have caused the biggest stir was that of Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder, who — at 6-foot-3 3/8 inches tall, 211 pounds — uncorked a 4.52, or better than 12 wide receivers who ran Thursday.

Mel Kiper Jr.’s and Todd McShay’s top-ranked receiver — USC’s Drake London — did not run because he is still working his way back from a fractured right ankle suffered in October. Penn State’s Jahan Dotson ran a 4.43, and Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks ran a 4.55.

The offensive linemen and running backs will work out on Friday.

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