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The Fastest NFL Players of All Time

Updated December 27, 2019 33.8k votes 4.2k voters 45.9k 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
    1,090
    453

    Darrell Green

    Cornerback

    More Darrell Green 

    #42 of 432 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History#17 of 69 The Best NFL Players From Texas

  • 2
    1,918
    843

    Tyreek Hill

    Wide Receiver, Return specialist
  • 3
    1,613
    700

    Bo Jackson

    Running back

    More Bo Jackson 

    #34 of 150 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative#192 of 582 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time

  • 4
    1,393
    597

    Deion Sanders

    Cornerback, Punt returner

    More Deion Sanders 

    #132 of 149 The Greatest New York Yankees Of All Time#28 of 106 The Best Atlanta Braves Of All Time

  • 5
    1,085
    453

    Bob Hayes

    Wide receiver

    More Bob Hayes 

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

  • 6
    942
    387

    Chris Johnson

    Running back, Return specialist

    More Chris Johnson 

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

  • 7
    813
    327

    Devin Hester

    Wide receiver
  • 8
    867
    416

    Randy Moss

    Wide receiver

    More Randy Moss 

    #421 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers Of All Time#8 of 15 The Worst NFL Trades Ever Made

  • 9
    699
    333

    John Ross

    Wide Receiver
  • 10
    660
    317

    DeSean Jackson

    Wide receiver

    More DeSean Jackson 

    #278 of 322 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame#306 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

  • 11
    719
    366

    Michael Vick

    Quarterback

    More Michael Vick 

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

  • 12
    301
    125

    Dante Hall

    Return specialist, Punt returner
  • 13
    611
    310

    Barry Sanders

    Running back
  • 14
    367
    216

    Marquise Goodwin

    Wide receiver
  • 15
    324
    193

    Willie Gault

    Wide receiver
  • 16
    276
    163

    Champ Bailey

    Cornerback
  • 17
    348
    218

    Ted Ginn, Jr.

    Wide receiver
  • 18
    282
    170

    Joey Galloway

    Return specialist, Wide receiver

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    #21 of 83 The Best Ohio State Buckeyes of All Time#27 of 38 The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '90s

  • 19
    256
    159

    Jamaal Charles

    Running back
  • 20
    266
    180

    Walter Payton

    Running back

    More Walter Payton 

    #364 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#3 of 206 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time

  • 21
    286
    214

    Brandin Cooks

    Wide receiver
  • 22
    155
    100

    Herschel Walker

    Running back, Return specialist
  • 23
    276
    208

    Julio Jones

    Wide receiver
  • 24
    121
    76

    Cliff Branch

    Wide receiver
  • 25
    160
    112

    Eric Dickerson

    Running back