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3.9k voters

The Fastest NFL Players of All Time

Updated December 27, 2019 33.6k votes 3.9k voters 41.3k 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
    Bob Hayes
    1,042
    421

    Bob Hayes

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceJacksonville, Florida

    AgeDec. at 60 (1942-2002)

    TeamsDallas Cowboys

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    #125 of 1,323 The Best Football Players Ever#17 of 38 The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '70s

  • 2
    Bo Jackson
    1,652
    708

    Bo Jackson

    Running back

    BirthplaceBessemer, Alabama, United States of America

    Age57

    TeamsKansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

  • 3
    Deion Sanders
    1,409
    603

    Deion Sanders

    Cornerback, Punt returner

    BirthplaceFort Myers, Florida, USA

    Age53

    TeamsFlorida State Seminoles baseball, Washington Redskins, San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons

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    #129 of 149 The Greatest New York Yankees Of All Time#29 of 106 The Best Atlanta Braves Of All Time

  • 4
    Chris Johnson
    950
    390

    Chris Johnson

    Running back, Return specialist

    BirthplaceOrlando, Florida

    Age35

    TeamsTennessee Titans

  • 5
    Darrell Green
    1,066
    449

    Darrell Green

    Cornerback

    BirthplaceHouston, Texas

    Age60

    TeamsWashington Redskins

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    #43 of 432 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History#1 of 115 The Greatest Washington Redskins of All Time

  • 6
    Tyreek Hill
    1,939
    868

    Tyreek Hill

    Wide Receiver, Return specialist

    Age26

    TeamsKansas City Chiefs

  • 7
    Devin Hester
    808
    335

    Devin Hester

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceRiviera Beach, Florida, United States of America

    Age33

    TeamsChicago Bears, Miami Hurricanes football

  • 8
    John Ross
    719
    320
  • 9
    DeSean Jackson
    678
    307

    DeSean Jackson

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    Age33

    TeamsPhiladelphia Eagles

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    #498 of 595 American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures#270 of 322 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 10
    Randy Moss
    890
    435

    Randy Moss

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceRand, West Virginia

    Age43

    TeamsOakland Raiders, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings

  • 11
    Michael Vick
    737
    377

    Michael Vick

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceVirginia

    Age40

    TeamsVirginia Tech Hokies football, Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles

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    #39 of 252 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time#11 of 53 The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

  • 12
    Barry Sanders
    624
    314

    Barry Sanders

    Running back

    BirthplaceWichita, Kansas, United States of America

    Age52

    TeamsOklahoma State Cowboys football, Detroit Lions

  • 13
    Dante Hall
    285
    123

    Dante Hall

    Return specialist, Punt returner

    BirthplaceLufkin, Texas

    Age42

    TeamsSt. Louis Rams, Kansas City Chiefs

  • 14
    Marquise Goodwin
    373
    212

    Marquise Goodwin

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceLubbock, Texas

    Age29

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers

  • 15
    Willie Gault
    324
    191

    Willie Gault

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceGriffin, Georgia, United States of America

    Age60

    TeamsChicago Bears, Tennessee Volunteers football, Los Angeles Raiders

  • 16
    Ted Ginn, Jr.
    356
    220

    Ted Ginn, Jr.

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceCleveland, Ohio

    Age35

    TeamsNew Orleans Saints

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    #16 of 83 The Best Ohio State Buckeyes of All Time#24 of 58 The Best College Football Wide Receivers of All Time

  • 17
    Champ Bailey
    275
    172

    Champ Bailey

    Cornerback

    BirthplaceFort Campbell, Kentucky

    Age42

    TeamsWashington Redskins, Denver Broncos, Georgia Bulldogs football team

  • 18
    Joey Galloway
    280
    178

    Joey Galloway

    Return specialist, Wide receiver

    BirthplaceBellaire, Ohio, United States of America

    Age48

    TeamsSeattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots

  • 19
    Jamaal Charles
    256
    164

    Jamaal Charles

    Running back

    BirthplacePort Arthur, Texas

    Age33

    TeamsKansas City Chiefs, Texas Longhorns football

  • 20
    Brandin Cooks
    301
    213

    Brandin Cooks

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceStockton, California

    Age27

    TeamsLos Angeles Rams

  • 21
    Walter Payton
    266
    186

    Walter Payton

    Running back

    BirthplaceColumbia, Mississippi, United States of America

    AgeDied at 45 (1954-1999)

    TeamsChicago Bears

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    #347 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#2 of 206 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time

  • 22
    Julio Jones
    280
    211

    Julio Jones

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceFoley, Alabama

    Age31

    TeamsAtlanta Falcons

    More Julio Jones 

    #7 of 91 The Best Alabama Crimson Tide Football Players of All Time#3 of 53 Who Is the Best Wide Receiver in the NFL Right Now?

  • 23
    Herschel Walker
    143
    93

    Herschel Walker

    Running back, Return specialist

    BirthplaceGeorgia, USA, Wrightsville

    Age58

    TeamsGeorgia Bulldogs football team, New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys

  • 24
    Tavon Austin
    190
    135

    Tavon Austin

  • 25
    Cordarrelle Patterson
    123
    79

    BirthplaceRock Hill, South Carolina

    Age29

    TeamsMinnesota Vikings