John Ross breaks NFL Combine's 40-yard dash record, sprints into top WR conversation

INDIANAPOLIS -- Before Saturday, John Ross' best 40-yard dash time wasn't good enough to break the NFL Combine record.

With just one attempt and some sore calves he attributed to dehydration, Ross clocked a blazing time of 4.22 seconds to beat Chris Johnson's longstanding record of 4.23 seconds by the smallest of margins.

On Friday, Ross, a 5-foot-11, 188-pound wide receiver from Washington who paced the Pac-12 champions with 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns, was coy with reporters about his 40-yard dash aspirations. He said his best time in training was 4.3 seconds.

He was ultimately eight one-hundredths of a second off, and that made all the difference when it came to becoming one of the Combine's top stories.

"I'm just thankful beyond measure, blessed and really happy to be in this situation," Ross told NFL Network. "Two years ago I was sitting on a couch for the whole season with a torn ACL. To be in this position I'm totally thankful."

Ross is expected to be much more than just a Combine name to remember. Already projected by many as a first-round pick, Ross will leave Indianapolis on a wave of positive momentum as one of the top-rated prospects at his position.

Before the Combine, Ross was pegged as high as the 16th overall pick in mock drafts but has typically fallen behind Western Michigan's Corey Davis and Clemson's Mike Williams. Both carry a height advantage over Ross, but the success of Antonio Brown, Brandin Cooks, T.Y. Hilton and more should eliminate some doubts about Ross' ability to succeed at the next level.

Ross, whose ability to take the top off a defense has been compared to Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson's, has worked with Jackson, himself, throughout his preparations for the draft. They're both from Long Beach, California, and have mutual friends, Ross said. The NFL veteran has helped Ross, utilize his God-given speed, showing him when and where the best ways are to scoot past opposing defensive backs.

On Saturday, no one could slow Ross down.

"It is all in the work throughout the week the preparation," Ross said. "I was gifted with speed. So I just used it the best I can."

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