Sweat throws down combine's fastest 40 by DL

INDIANAPOLIS -- General managers said over and over again before workouts began at the NFL scouting combine that this year's class of defensive linemen is deep, talented and athletic and certainly has the league's attention.

The defensive linemen then put an exclamation point on all of that with their on-field workouts Sunday in Lucas Oil Stadium -- no more than Mississippi State's Montez Sweat.

Sweat, at 6-foot-5⅞, 260 pounds, uncorked a 4.41-second 40-yard dash, the fastest time recorded by a defensive lineman at the combine since 2006. He also was faster than 21 of the 23 running backs who ran the 40 at this year's combine.

Sweat improved upon Jadeveon Clowney's 4.53 40 at the 2014 combine. Clowney went on to be selected No. 1 overall by the Houston Texans in the draft.

For comparison, Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen ran a 4.42 40 at 179 pounds at the 2017 combine, while New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. ran a 4.43 at 198 pounds in 2014.

Sweat finished his 2018 season with the Bulldogs with 11.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss. He had 10.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in 2017.

Also Sunday, Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, at 303 pounds, ran a 4.83 40. Since 2006, that was the second-fastest 40 by any defensive player who was at least 300 pounds.