Sports

The Fastest NFL Players of All Time 

Ranker Sports
Updated December 27, 2019 23.1k votes 3.4k voters 35.1k 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

Age: 53

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

More Bo Jackson 

#119 of 523 The Best Baseball Players NOT in the Hall of Fame #10 of 192 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Timelisted 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

Age: 48

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

More Deion Sanders 

#384 of 599 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time #6 of 79 The Best NFL Player Nicknames

4
Darrell Green is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Cornerback from Houston

Age: 55

Teams: Washington Redskins

More Darrell Green 

#73 of 79 The Best NFL Player Nicknames #25 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

5
Bob Hayes is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Jacksonville

Age: Died at 60 (1942-2002)

Teams: Dallas Cowboys

More Bob Hayes 

#80 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #36 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time #22 of 56 The Best College Football Wide Receivers of All Time

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

Age: 30

Teams: Tennessee Titans

More Chris Johnson 

#335 of 348 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #304 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever

7
Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Rand

Age: 42

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

More Randy Moss 

#27 of 79 The Best NFL Player Nicknames #10 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #2 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

8
Devin Hester is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Riviera Beach

Age: 33

Teams: Chicago Bears, Miami Hurricanes football

More Devin Hester 

#37 of 348 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #14 of 140 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time

9
John Ross is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
10
DeSean Jackson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Los Angeles

Age: 29

Teams: Philadelphia Eagles

More DeSean Jackson 

#298 of 348 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #56 of 111 The Greatest Washington Redskins 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 

#1,953 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #144 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #8 of 120 The Greatest College Football Quarterbacks of All Time

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

Age: 47

Teams: Oklahoma State Cowboys football, Detroit Lions

More Barry Sanders 

#466 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 192 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time

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

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

Age: 30

Teams: New Orleans Saints

More Ted Ginn, Jr. 

#380 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #8 of 86 The Best Ohio State Buckeyes 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

Age: 55

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

More Willie Gault 

#39 of 140 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time #9 of 59 The Best University of Tennessee Football Players Ever

16
Brandin Cooks is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Brandin Cooks Wide receiver from Stockton

Teams: Los Angeles Rams

17
Dante Hall is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
Dante Hall Return specialist and Punt returner from Lufkin

Age: 37

Teams: St. Louis Rams, Kansas City Chiefs

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

Age: 37

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

More Champ Bailey 

#74 of 348 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #16 of 111 The Greatest Washington Redskins of All Time

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

Age: 44

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

More Joey Galloway 

#331 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #19 of 86 The Best Ohio State Buckeyes 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

Age: 29

Teams: Kansas City Chiefs, Texas Longhorns football

More Jamaal Charles 

#32 of 192 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time #228 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever

21
Julio Jones is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
22
Walter Payton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time
heyohsurferdudes added Running back from Columbia

Age: Dec. at 46 (1953-1999)

Teams: Chicago Bears

More Walter Payton 

#461 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #4 of 79 The Best NFL Player Nicknames

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

Age: 25

Teams: Arizona Cardinals, LSU Tigers football

More Patrick Peterson 

#819 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #125 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #1 of 162 The Best LSU Football Players of All Time