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Chris Johnson

Two weeks without football is simply too much, and while preseason games seem like light years away, there is some good news: The NFL combine returns this week.

The 40-yard dash is the event that gets the most attention. Whether the times say much about the potential of a prospect's professional career is up for debate, but the 40 will be a main talking point as we get closer to the NFL draft.

In 1999, the NFL implemented electronic timing at the combine, providing more precise data. Let's take a look back at the top ten 40-yard dashes in the modern combine era, knowing that Bo Jackson (4.12) and Deion Sanders (4.27) are clocked when the technology wasn't quite as advanced.

T-7. Jacoby Ford: 4.28

Christian Petersen/Getty Images T-7. Jacoby Ford: 4.28

Ford reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.126 at the Fork Union Military Academy combine. At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.28. The Clemson wide receiver was drafted in the fourth round by the Raiders. While at Clemson, Ford also competed in track.

T-7. Champ Bailey: 4.28

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images T-7. Champ Bailey: 4.28

Bailey had a lot to live up to after his brother Boss made it to the NFL as a linebacker. The cornerback out of Georgia was up for the challenge. After running a 4.28 at the 1999 combine, Bailey was selected No. 7 overall by the Redskins.

T-7. DeMarcus Van Dyke: 4.28

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images T-7. DeMarcus Van Dyke: 4.28

After clocking a 4.28 at the 2011 combine, the cornerback was selected in the third round by the Raiders. Van Dyke was on Miami's track and field and football teams for all four years. At Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Miami, Van Dyke established himself as one of the state's top sprinters, posting a career-best time of 21.31 seconds in the 200 meters. At the 2007 FHSAA 1A Outdoor State Finals, he placed second in the 200 behind future Super Bowl champion Deonte Thompson.

T-7. J.J. Nelson: 4.28

Christian Petersen/Getty Images T-7. J.J. Nelson: 4.28

Nelson cruised his was to a 4.28 at the 2015 NFL Combine to clock the fastest time at the combine that year. The Cardinals used their fifth-round pick on the wide receiver from Alabama-Birmingham. Like many of the other speedy combine performers, in high school, Nelson was a Class 4A state champion on the track in the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash.

T-5. Stanford Routt: 4.27

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images T-5. Stanford Routt: 4.27

After an impressive 4.27 at the 2005 combine, the cornerback was selected in the second round by the Raiders. The Houston product played in Oakland for seven seasons.

T-5. Marquise Goodwin: 4.27

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images T-5. Marquise Goodwin: 4.27

After competing in the 2012 Olympics in the long jump, Goodwin returned to Texas for his senior season and caught the game-winning touchdown in the Alamo Bowl. Goodwin went on to the 2013 combine and clocked a 4.27 in the 40-yard dash. He was drafted in the third round by the Bills.

T-3. Dri Archer: 4.26

Al Bello/Getty Images T-3. Dri Archer: 4.26

The Steelers drafted Archer in the third round in 2014. It is no surprise that this speedster was highly recruited to run track at Arkansas and Clemson, but the Florida native opted for Kent State, the only school to offer him a football scholarship. In high school, after his first full-season running track, Archer finished second in the 100-meter final of the state track meet behind world-class sprinter Dentarius Locke. Locke went on to break the 10-second barrier in the event and run for Florida State. In the same race that Archer, future NFL running back Denard Robinson finished third.

T-3. Jerome Mathis: 4.26

Bob Levey/Getty Images T-3. Jerome Mathis: 4.26

Before Mathis dropped a 4.26 in 2005, he was faster than Tyson Gay. That's right. The wide receiver left high school as a six-time state champion, and in 2001, he ran the fifth-fastest 55-meter time in the nation (6.29), ahead of Gay. The Texans selected Mathis in the fourth round, and after his rookie season, he was selected to the Pro Bowl as the starting kick returner.

T-1. Chris Johnson: 4.24

Grant Halverson/Getty Images T-1. Chris Johnson: 4.24

In 2008, Johnson tied for the fastest 40 time the combine has ever seen with a blistering 4.24. However, Johnson claims he could have run a 4.18 or 4.19 had he not stumbled at the start. The two-star recruit out of high school went on to play at East Carolina, and the Titans used their first-round pick on the speedster. Johnson went on to be named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 and win the NFL rushing title in 2010. Before all of his football success, Johnson was one of the fastest high school sprinters the state of Florida had ever seen. He finished second in the 100-meter final of the 2004 Florida 4A state meet behind 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Walter Pix.

T-1. Rondel Menendez: 4.24

Rondel Menendez T-1. Rondel Menendez: 4.24

Despite setting a 40 time in 1999 that has never been broken, Menendez did not live up to the hype. The Eastern Kentucky receiver was selected in the seventh round by the Falcons. However, during a preseason game Menendez suffered a severe knee injury. Johnson commonly gets the title as "fastest combine time" because Menendez is an unknown who never actually dressed for an NFL game.