Sports

The Fastest NFL Players of All Time 

Ranker Sports
Updated December 27, 2019 24.6k votes 3.6k voters 36.9k 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
Bo Jackson is listed (or ranked) 1 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

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#388 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #253 of 598 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Timelisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

2
Tyreek Hill is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Fastest NFL Players of All Time

Teams: Kansas City Chiefs

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 

#1,048 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #657 of 709 The Best Hitters in Baseball History #425 of 598 The Greatest Baseball Players 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

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

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

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#1,954 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #59 of 80 The Best NFL Player Nicknames #34 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

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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#1,779 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #305 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #51 of 230 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time

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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#30 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #97 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time #9 of 147 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time

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: 42

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

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#27 of 80 The Best NFL Player Nicknames #2 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time #71 of 343 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

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

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#1,756 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #278 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #42 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

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: 38

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

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#42 of 257 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time #1,887 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #11 of 53 The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

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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#603 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 230 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

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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#1,402 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #82 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time #29 of 147 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time

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

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

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

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

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#277 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #72 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time #17 of 84 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, Texas

Age: 29

Teams: Kansas City Chiefs, Texas Longhorns football

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#33 of 230 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time #232 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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#5 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time #46 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #38 of 41 The 41 Hottest Men in the NFL

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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#468 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #555 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #2 of 230 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 

#1 of 161 The Best LSU Football Players of All Time #2,090 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #68 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History