10 Fastest NFL Players Of All-Time

The Speedsters: Top 10 Fastest NFL Players of All Time

The National Football League (NFL) is synonymous with elite athleticism, showcasing individuals whose speed, agility, and strength have captivated audiences and left their competitors in the dust. In this article, we delve into the extraordinary careers of the 10 fastest NFL players in history, shedding light on their remarkable achievements and enduring legacies.

1. Bob Hayes: The Birth of “Bullet Bob”

Early Career and Achievements

Bob Hayes, affectionately known as “Bullet Bob,” commenced his journey to NFL stardom by showcasing his phenomenal sprinting prowess. He etched his name in history with two gold medals in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Transitioning to the NFL, Hayes astounded fans and opponents alike with his sprinter’s speed, accumulating over 7,000 receiving yards and scoring 71 touchdowns during his illustrious career.

Impact and Legacy

Bob Hayes revolutionized the wide receiver position, infusing it with world-class speed and intricate route-running. His incredible speed forced defensive coordinators to adapt, birthing zone defenses to counter his blistering pace. In doing so, Hayes not only left a mark on the NFL but forever changed the way we perceive wide receivers.

2. Darrell Green: The Ageless Wonder

Athletic Feats

Darrell Green, fondly referred to as the “Ageless Wonder,” graced the NFL for an impressive 20-year span. His remarkable sprinting speed was exemplified by running a 4.43-second 40-yard dash at the ripe age of 40. Green’s career boasted seven Pro Bowl selections and two Super Bowl rings, attesting to his exceptional athletic and professional prowess.

Lasting Influence

Darrell Green’s legacy extends beyond his playing days. His enduring speed and unwavering character set the gold standard for cornerback play in the NFL. Green’s remarkable journey continues to inspire budding football players, representing the epitome of both professional and personal achievement.

3. Chris Johnson: CJ2K’s Record-Breaking Speed

Record-Breaking Performances

Chris Johnson, famously known as “CJ2K,” burst onto the NFL scene with electrifying runs and record-breaking speed. In 2009, he set the league ablaze by rushing for over 2,000 yards and shattering Marshall Faulk’s record for total yards from scrimmage with an astonishing 2,509. His breakaway runs were a testament to his extraordinary speed and agility.

Contributions and Influence

Chris Johnson’s dynamic playstyle and exceptional speed redefined the expectations for running backs in the NFL. His record-breaking performances continue to inspire and motivate young, aspiring athletes in the sport, emphasizing the significance of sheer speed and agility.

4. Deion Sanders: Prime Time’s Versatile Speed

Multifaceted Talent

Deion Sanders, famously known as “Prime Time,” brought unprecedented speed and versatility to the NFL. A dual-sport athlete, he excelled in both football and baseball. In the NFL, Sanders dominated as a cornerback and return specialist, securing eight Pro Bowl selections and two Super Bowl victories.

Legacy and Impact

Deion Sanders’ multifaceted success and charismatic personality injected a new level of excitement and entertainment into the sport. His exceptional athleticism and vibrant persona continue to shape the culture and standards of the NFL.

5. Bo Jackson: A Legend of Dual-Sport Dominance

Athletic Exploits

Bo Jackson’s legendary combination of speed and power transcended the NFL and extended to the MLB. His reported 4.13-second 40-yard dash remains unmatched in the NFL to this day, showcasing his extraordinary speed.

Legacy and Influence

Bo Jackson’s unparalleled athleticism served as an inspiration to countless athletes pursuing multi-sport careers. His enduring influence is evident in the admiration he still garners from fans and fellow athletes, making him an indelible figure in sports history.

6. Randy Moss: Redefining Wide Receiver Excellence

Achievements and Highlights

Randy Moss, with his towering height, leaping ability, and lightning speed, redefined the wide receiver position. He accumulated over 15,000 receiving yards and scored 156 touchdowns during his career. Moss’ speed and athleticism made him one of the most feared deep threats in NFL history.

Impact and Endurance

Randy Moss’s revolutionary playstyle prompted defensive adaptations and paved the way for future tall and fast receivers. His remarkable career serves as a blueprint for aspiring wide receivers aiming to make a mark in the league.

7. Devin Hester: The Windy City Flyer’s Return Dominance

Return Dominance

Devin Hester, known as the “Windy City Flyer,” revolutionized the return game with his blistering speed and unparalleled vision. He holds the NFL record for total return touchdowns with an astounding 20. Hester’s ability to find seams and accelerate explosively made him a constant threat to opposing teams.

Legacy and Influence

Hester’s unprecedented success as a return specialist elevated the profile of special teams play in the NFL. His thrilling returns and game-changing speed solidified his place among the fastest and most electrifying players in NFL history.

8. Tyreek Hill: The Cheetah’s Speed Reign

Exceptional Speed and Skills

Tyreek Hill, famously known as the “Cheetah,” burst onto the NFL scene with extraordinary acceleration and top-end speed, consistently posing a deep threat to defenses. His ability to change games with his speed, both as a receiver and returner, has made him a versatile weapon for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Impact and Recognition

Tyreek Hill’s remarkable speed earned him multiple Pro Bowl selections and played a pivotal role in the Chiefs’ recent successes, including their Super Bowl LIV victory. His electrifying playstyle continues to captivate fans and sets a high standard for speed and versatility in the league.

9. Trindon Holliday: The Diminutive Dynamo

Achievements and Highlights

Standing at just 5’5″, Trindon Holliday defied expectations with his lightning speed, becoming one of the most formidable return specialists in the league. His remarkable speed and agility allowed him to score multiple return touchdowns, instantly altering the course of games.

Legacy and Influence

Trindon Holliday’s success underscores the importance of speed and agility in the NFL, proving that size isn’t the sole determinant of success in the league. His electrifying returns serve as an ongoing source of inspiration for aspiring athletes of smaller stature.

10. Willie Gault: Olympic-Caliber Speed Meets NFL Glory

Athletic Prowess and Achievements

Willie Gault, an Olympic-caliber sprinter, graced the NFL with his exceptional speed, becoming one of the fastest wide receivers in the league’s history. His remarkable speed allowed him to stretch defenses and create big-play opportunities, contributing to the 1985 Chicago Bears’ Super Bowl XX victory.

Lasting Impact and Contributions

Willie Gault’s impressive blend of speed and skill elevated the role of the wide receiver in the NFL. His success on the field and his unwavering commitment to fitness continue to influence the training regimens and playstyles of modern NFL players.


Who is considered the fastest NFL player currently playing?

While determining the absolute fastest NFL player can be challenging due to various factors, Tyreek Hill is often recognized as one of the fastest current players. His astonishing acceleration and top-end speed displayed in games make him a prominent figure in discussions about speed in the NFL.

How is the speed of NFL players officially measured?

Speed in the NFL is primarily measured through the 40-yard dash, a sprint covering 40 yards (36.58 meters). This event takes center stage at the league’s annual scouting combine and provides teams with valuable insights into a player’s straight-line speed, an essential indicator of overall athleticism and explosiveness.

Has any NFL player ever competed in the Olympics as a sprinter?

Yes, Bob Hayes serves as a noteworthy example. Prior to his NFL career, Hayes achieved Olympic glory by winning two gold medals in sprinting events at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, earning him the nickname “Bullet Bob.”

Which position typically has the fastest players in the NFL?

Wide receivers, cornerbacks, and running backs typically feature the fastest players in the NFL. These positions often require quick bursts of speed and agility to cover substantial portions of the field, making speed a prized attribute.

Has speed always been a crucial part of the NFL?

While speed has always held importance in football, its significance in the NFL has grown over time, particularly as the game has evolved to emphasize passing and create more open spaces on the field. Speed has become a premium attribute for players in various positions.

Do faster players tend to have shorter careers due to injuries?

Not necessarily. A player’s career longevity in the NFL can be influenced by numerous factors, including playing style, position, training regimen, injury management, and overall health. While some fast players may be prone to injuries due to their explosive style, others, such as Darrell Green, have enjoyed lengthy and successful careers.

In conclusion, these remarkable individuals have not only set the bar for speed in the NFL but have also redefined excellence in their respective positions. Their thrilling performances and lasting influence ensure that their names will resonate in the annals of NFL history for generations to come.

Author: John Day is a seasoned sports writer for MarkMeets with a profound love for the game, spanning football, cricket, rugby, NFL, and baseball. With a passion for each of these diverse sports, [Author Name] brings a unique blend of insightful analysis and engaging storytelling to our news site. Whether it’s a touchdown, a century, a try, or a home run, John Day has an astute eye for the stories that matter most to sports enthusiasts worldwide. Join us in exploring the world of these sports through John Day ‘s expert perspective.

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John Day
John Day is a seasoned sports writer and brings a unique blend of insightful analysis and covers the stories that matter most to sports enthusiasts everywhere.

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