Bats out of hell go slower.
John Ross, the former University of Washington wide receiver, dazzled the NFL combine in Indianapolis Saturday with a history-making clocking of 4.22 in the 40-yard dash, which broke Chris Johnson’s record of 4.24, set in 2008. One NFL scout told USA Today that he hand-timed Ross in 4.16.
“I feel good,” Ross told the NFL Network after his record-setting sprint. “I feel like could have run faster because I just cramped up and slowed toward the end. Both of my calves were real tight. Maybe I was a little dehydrated. But I’m happy with what I did. Being here has been a dream of mine since I was a kid.
“I’m just thankful beyond measure, blessed and just really happy to be in this situation. Two years ago, I was sitting on the couch for the whole season, torn ACL. Now to be in this position, I’m really thankful.”
Due to the cramping, Ross opted not to take a second crack at the 40. The next-fastest time was posted by Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel, who clocked 4.31.
“Wait! Ran what?” tweeted Arizona Cardinals DB Patrick Peterson.
“4.22! My goodness!” tweeted Oakland QB Derek Carr.
“He looks fast even in slow motion,” tweeted Jarvis Landry of the Miami Dolphins.
For comparison purposes, Paul Richardson of Colorado ran a 4.40 at the 2014 NFL combine. Tyler Lockett of Kansas State followed with a 4.40 in 2015. The Seahawks made Richardson a second-round pick and Lockett a third-round pick.
Ross, who also turned in a 36½-inch vertical leap and an 11-foot, one-inch broad jump, one of the five best marks in the three tests in combine history, is projected as a first-rounder with several mock drafts having him going to Tampa Bay at No. 19 overall.
Adidas had promised to give an island to the fastest player in the 40. Ross wore Nike shoes. Asked if he was disappointed he didn’t win an island, Ross said, “I really can’t swim that well, and I don’t have a boat, so, you know, I had to run in Nikes.”
Ross tore a shoulder labrum during Washington’s game against Stanford and is scheduled to have surgery next week.
Ross caught 81 passes for 1,150 yards and 17 receiving touchdowns (19 total) for the Pac-12 champion Huskies last year, and is one of three receivers frequently projected as one of three wideouts in the first round, including Western Michigan’s Corey Davis and Clemson’s Mike Williams.