Sports

The Fastest NFL Players of All Time 

Ranker Sports
Updated December 27, 2019 24.4k votes 3.6k voters 36.5k views 106 items

List Rules Best 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

list ordered by
1
Tyreek Hill is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time

Teams: Kansas City Chiefs

2
Bo Jackson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Running back from Bessemer, Alabama, United States of America

Age: 53

Teams: Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

More Bo Jackson 

#392 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #96 of 523 The Best Baseball Players NOT in the Hall of Famelisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

3
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Cornerback and Punt returner from Fort Myers, Florida, United States of America

Age: 48

Teams: Florida State Seminoles baseball, Washington Redskins, San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, + more

More Deion Sanders 

#1,058 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #702 of 708 The Best Hitters in Baseball History #141 of 158 The Greatest New York Yankees Of All Time

4
Bob Hayes is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Jacksonville, Florida

Age: Died at 60 (1942-2002)

Teams: Dallas Cowboys

More Bob Hayes 

#132 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #33 of 80 The Best NFL Player Nicknames #39 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

5
Darrell Green is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Cornerback from Houston, Texas

Age: 59

Teams: Washington Redskins

More Darrell Green 

#1,940 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #113 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #58 of 80 The Best NFL Player Nicknames

6
Chris Johnson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Running back and Return specialist from Orlando, Florida

Age: 33

Teams: Tennessee Titans

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#1,770 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #51 of 221 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time #305 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

7
Devin Hester is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Riviera Beach, Florida, United States of America

Age: 33

Teams: Chicago Bears, Miami Hurricanes football

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#9 of 147 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time #30 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #184 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

8
Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Rand, West Virginia

Age: 38

Teams: Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings

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#4 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #28 of 80 The Best NFL Player Nicknames #2 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

9
DeSean Jackson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Age: 29

Teams: Philadelphia Eagles

More DeSean Jackson 

#1,750 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #647 of 771 American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures #279 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

10
John Ross is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
11
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Quarterback from Virginia

Age: 35

Teams: Virginia Tech Hokies football, Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles

More Michael Vick 

#1,877 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #43 of 257 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time #201 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

12
Barry Sanders is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Running back from Wichita, Kansas, United States of America

Age: 47

Teams: Oklahoma State Cowboys football, Detroit Lions

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#599 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 221 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time #2 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

13
Marquise Goodwin is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Lubbock, Texas

Age: 25

Teams: San Francisco 49ers

14
Ted Ginn, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Cleveland, Ohio

Age: 30

Teams: New Orleans Saints

More Ted Ginn, Jr. 

#326 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #9 of 87 The Best Ohio State Buckeyes of All Time #27 of 59 The Best College Football Wide Receivers of All Time

15
Willie Gault is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Willie Gault Wide receiver from Griffin, Georgia, USA

Age: 55

Teams: Chicago Bears, Tennessee Volunteers football, Los Angeles Raiders

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#1,401 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #29 of 147 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time #408 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

16
Dante Hall is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Dante Hall Return specialist and Punt returner from Lufkin, Texas

Age: 40

Teams: St. Louis Rams, Kansas City Chiefs

17
Brandin Cooks is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Brandin Cooks Wide receiver from Stockton, California

Teams: Los Angeles Rams

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#605 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #19 of 58 Who Is the Best Wide Receiver in the NFL Right Now? #75 of 200 The All-Around Best Athletes of 2018

18
Champ Bailey is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Cornerback from Fort Campbell, Kentucky

Age: 37

Teams: Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos, Georgia Bulldogs football team

More Champ Bailey 

#87 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #59 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #25 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

19
Joey Galloway is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Joey Galloway Return specialist and Wide receiver from Bellaire, Ohio, United States of America

Age: 44

Teams: Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, + more

More Joey Galloway 

#278 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #327 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #71 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

20
Jamaal Charles is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Running back from Port Arthur, Texas

Age: 29

Teams: Kansas City Chiefs, Texas Longhorns football

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#33 of 221 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time #230 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #7 of 72 The Best Texas Longhorns Football Players of All Time

21
Julio Jones is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Foley, Alabama

Age: 26

Teams: Atlanta Falcons

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#46 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #6 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time #3 of 58 Who Is the Best Wide Receiver in the NFL Right Now?

22
Walter Payton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
heyohsurferdudes added Running back from Columbia, Mississippi, United States of America

Age: Died at 45 (1954-1999)

Teams: Chicago Bears

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#564 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #469 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #2 of 221 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time

23
Odell Beckham Jr. is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
24
Tavon Austin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Brennon cudd added Tavon Austin

Age: 24

Teams: St. Louis Rams

25
Patrick Peterson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Cornerback from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Age: 25

Teams: Arizona Cardinals, LSU Tigers football

More Patrick Peterson 

#2,074 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #127 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #68 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History