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Rewarding Moments In Redskins History: Montez Sweat Breaks A Combine Record With 4.41-Second 40-Yard Dash


Montez Sweat calmly placed his hand onto the turf in Indianapolis during the 2019 NFL Combine and got into a sprinter's stance to run the 40-yard dash. For the span of about a second, Sweat was completely still; then suddenly, he wasn't.

Sweat used his 6-foot-6, 260-pound frame to make short work of the drill. As he crossed the finish line, NFL Network timed him at 4.42 seconds, but the official clock read 4.41. His second time was a 4.46.

"That's...not normal," one of the analysts on NFL Network said.

It's true; it wasn't normal, because Sweat's first run broke the modern combine record for defensive linemen.

Record times for the 40-yard dash have only been kept since 2003, and there have only been two defensive linemen in the past 17 seasons to come close to matching Sweat's speed: Isaac Hilton, who set the original record in 2004 with a time of 4.44, and Manny Lawson, who matched Hilton's time in 2006.

Sweat wasn't just the fastest defensive linemen in almost two decades; he was also one of the fastest in his draft class, regardless of position. He was one of the top 15 fastest players, most of whom were wide receivers and defensive backs. He was only .06 seconds slower than Terry McLaurin, who ran a 4.35.

Sweat was good enough to beat the fastest times for quarterbacks (Trace McSorley, 4.57), tight ends (Noah Fant, 4.50), offensive linemen (Erik McCoy, 4.89) and linebackers (Devin White, 4.42).

Sweat went on to have an impressive combine peformance. He had 21 reps on the bench press, a 36-inch vertical and a 125-inch broad jump. That, combined with a seven-second three-cone drill and a 20-yard shuttle of 4.29 seconds, helped Sweat become the second-highest graded edge rusher in 2019 behind only Jacksonville Jaguars pick Josh Allen.

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