The NFL combine is over, giving us a better idea of who the top performers were. The 40-yard dash, perhaps the most watched portion of the combine, featured some of the fastest times in years, with defensive linemen turning in blistering times for their size and the skill position players running 40s in the sub-4.5 second range. As expected, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson came out flying, running in the 4.3 second range. Miami's DeMarcus Van Dyke took it a step further, running in the 4.2s and nearly breaking the Combine record, set by Chris Johnson in 2008.
The running backs, defensive backs and wide receivers dominated the 40-yard dash leaderboard, with each of the top-15 running under 4.5 seconds. From small school guys -- Ricardo Lockett from Fort Valley State and Edmond Gates from Abilene Christian -- to household names such as Julio Jones and Peterson, the leaderboard was full of impressive performances.
Here's a look at the fastest 40s at this year's NFL combine.
DeMarcus Van Dyke, Miami 4.28
Patrick Peterson, LSU 4.34
Da'Rel Scott, Maryland 4.34
Edmond Gates, Abilene Christian 4.37
Ricardo Lockett, Fort Valley State 4.37
Mario Fannin, Auburn 4.38
Julio Jones, Alabama 4.39
Chimidi Chekwa, Ohio State 4.40
Chris Culliver, South Carolina 4.40
Derrick Locke, Kentucky 4.40
Jordan Todman, Connecticut 4.40
DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma 4.41
Roy Helu, Nebraska 4.42
Prince Amukamara, Nebraska 4.43
Leonard Hankerson, Miami 4.43
Though a 40-yard dash is not the overriding factor in slotting draft picks, many place an emphasis on the 40 times at the combine. A poor time may knock a prospect down a notch while an outstanding time may bump a player up, or perhaps lead teams to take a look at a relatively unknown prospect. In the NFL, speed is the name of the game, and plenty of it was on display at Lucas Oil Stadium this week.
For more results, check out the rest of our 2011 NFL Combine StoryStream.