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The Fastest NFL Players of All Time

Updated December 27, 2019 33.5k votes 4.2k voters 46.3k views106 items

List RulesBest players in NFL history who were known for their elite speed

This list is composed of the fastest NFL players of all time, ranked by overall speed and talent level. The NFL measures straight-line speed at the yearly NFL combine, with John Ross breaking the 40-yard dash record in 2017 with a blazing 4.22-second dash. However, that speed does not always translate to the field. Fans often tell tales of the greatest wide receiver of all time, Jerry Rice, who only ran a 4.71 40-yard dash yet displayed elite on-field speed with pads on.

This list is a collection of which players displayed the most jaw-dropping, game-changing speed in NFL history. It's no coincidence that many of these players also find themselves among the greatest NFL players of all time. Typically, the fastest NFL players are running backs, wide receivers, and cornerbacks, although certain anomalies like Michael Vick find themselves among the fastest NFL players due to top-notch speed.

Go ahead and rank the fastest NFL players of all time, and when you're done, head on over to rank the fastest NBA players of all time

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  • 1
    1,086
    449

    Darrell Green

    Cornerback
  • 2
    1,603
    694

    Bo Jackson

    Running back

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  • 3
    1,081
    449

    Bob Hayes

    Wide receiver

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    #39 of 214 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time#123 of 1,323 The Best Football Players Ever

  • 4
    935
    380

    Chris Johnson

    Running back, Return specialist

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    #13 of 55 The Best NFL Players From Florida#33 of 225 The Best Arizona Cardinals of All Time

  • 5
    1,382
    591

    Deion Sanders

    Cornerback, Punt returner

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  • 6
    1,905
    842

    Tyreek Hill

    Wide Receiver, Return specialist
  • 7
    806
    324

    Devin Hester

    Wide receiver
  • 8
    862
    411

    Randy Moss

    Wide receiver

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  • 9
    694
    334

    John Ross

    Wide Receiver
  • 10
    655
    314

    DeSean Jackson

    Wide receiver

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  • 11
    715
    362

    Michael Vick

    Quarterback

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    #42 of 120 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time#20 of 119 The Greatest College Football Quarterbacks of All Time

  • 12
    301
    123

    Dante Hall

    Return specialist, Punt returner
  • 13
    605
    306

    Barry Sanders

    Running back
  • 14
    362
    214

    Marquise Goodwin

    Wide receiver
  • 15
    320
    191

    Willie Gault

    Wide receiver
  • 16
    274
    162

    Champ Bailey

    Cornerback
  • 17
    343
    215

    Ted Ginn, Jr.

    Wide receiver

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    #16 of 83 The Best Ohio State Buckeyes of All Time#29 of 58 The Best College Football Wide Receivers of All Time

  • 18
    279
    167

    Joey Galloway

    Return specialist, Wide receiver

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    #114 of 139 The Best Dallas Cowboys Of All Time#19 of 77 The Best Tampa Bay Buccaneers of All Time

  • 19
    256
    157

    Jamaal Charles

    Running back
  • 20
    265
    179

    Walter Payton

    Running back

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  • 21
    283
    211

    Brandin Cooks

    Wide receiver
  • 22
    155
    100

    Herschel Walker

    Running back, Return specialist
  • 23
    275
    205

    Julio Jones

    Wide receiver
  • 24
    121
    76

    Cliff Branch

    Wide receiver
  • 25
    160
    111

    Eric Dickerson

    Running back