Mississippi State’s Darius Slay is officially the fastest defensive back at this year’s Scouting Combine.
When the official 40-yard dash times came out, Slay’s 4.36-second 40 stood as the fastest, just edging out Alabama’s Dee Milliner, who was clocked at 4.37 seconds. Washington’s Desmond Trufant was timed at 4.38 seconds, while Southeast Louisiana’s Robert Alford and Boise State’s Jamar Taylor were both timed at 4.39.
NFL Network gave Steve Williams of Cal an unofficial time of 4.25 seconds, but that turned out to be a mirage: His official time was 4.42 seconds. A 4.42-second 40-yard dash is still very fast, but several defensive backs are faster than Williams.
It’s also important to note that differences in the hundredths of a second need to be taken with a grain of salt. It’s possible for the timing to be off by a hundredth of a second here or there, and also possible that the difference in a hundredth of a second just means one guy is faster than another at getting out of a sprinter’s stance — the kind of stance that no NFL defensive back ever lines up in on the field.
In any event, Slay will get some attention for being the fastest defensive back in the bunch this year. But it’s really Milliner, who entered the Combine as the top cornerback prospect, who has firmed up his status: There are questions about all the other cornerbacks, but there’s no question now that Milliner is a Top 10 pick.