Caleb Williams 40 time: How does he compare to other quarterbacks?

Is Caleb Williams quick enough to be a true dual-threat at the NFL level?

Caleb Williams, USC
Caleb Williams, USC / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
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USC quarterback Caleb Williams is the likely no. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, and like two other top quarterback prospects, he is opting not to test at this year's NFL Combine. Instead, he'll meet with teams and do interviews. But, he'll wait for his Pro Day in order to show off his skills.

One of the most notable events that he's going to be skipping out on is the always-talked-about 40-yard dash. Not that speed matters more than other traits, but it's always a fun drill to watch.

Although he isn't running at the Combine, we've seen reports in the past of Williams' projected time. Let's assume he would have ran the reported time of 4.56 seconds.

Regardless of where Williams would have finished, officially, I think it's safe to say that he is plenty quick to be a dual-threat at the NFL level. He has never truly relied on his legs and would rather beat you with his arm, but don't discount his speed.

Speaking of speed at the quarterback position, where would Williams' speed have ranked in comparison to some all-time numbers?

Fastest 40 times by a quarterback in NFL history

Player

Time (year)

1. Michael Vick

4.33 (2001)

2. Reggie McNeal

4.40 (2006)

3. Robert Griffin III

4.41 (2012)

4. Anthony Richardson

4.43 (2023)

5. Justin Fields

4.45 (2021)

Alright, so Williams' projected time doesn't exactly compare to current players like Anthony Richardson or Justin Fields, or even the unofficial time Lamar Jackson once ran at Louisville's "Speed Day." But, again, Williams' arm talent is so good that he doesn't necessarily need to be as quick as those guys.

Now, just for kicks, let's take a look at the top 10 fastest 40 times in NFL history.

Fastest 40 times in NFL history:

Player

40-yard dash time (year)

1. John Ross, WR

4.22 (2017)

T1. Donte' Stallworth, WR

4.22 (2002)

3. Kalon Barnes, CB

4.23 (2022)

4. Chris Johnson, RB

4.24 (2008)

5. DJ Turner II, CB

4.26 (2023)

T5. Dri Archer, WR

4.26 (2014)

T5. Tariq Woolen, CB

4.26 (2022)

8. Henry Ruggs III, WR

4.27 (2020)

T8. Anthony Schwartz, WR

4.27 (2021)

T8. Marquise Goodwin, WR

4.27 (2013)

You've heard it plenty of times. A fast 40-yard dash doesn't equal automatic success in the NFL. In fact, if you find yourself on the above list, you're going to be outnumbered by guys who didn't do a whole lot as a pro.

Thankfully, I don't think we need to worry about Williams ending up as a bust. He's as good a prospect as we've seen in a decade.

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