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The Fastest NFL Players of All Time

Updated December 27, 2019 33.7k votes 4.2k voters 46.6k 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
    1,100
    455

    Darrell Green

    Cornerback
  • 2
    1,091
    453

    Bob Hayes

    Wide receiver

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

  • 3
    938
    382

    Chris Johnson

    Running back, Return specialist

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

  • 4
    1,386
    593

    Deion Sanders

    Cornerback, Punt returner

    More Deion Sanders 

    #132 of 149 The Greatest New York Yankees Of All Time#988 of 1,424 The Best Athletes Of All Time

  • 5
    1,605
    697

    Bo Jackson

    Running back

    More Bo Jackson 

    #34 of 150 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative#427 of 708 The Best Hitters in Baseball History

  • 6
    1,912
    843

    Tyreek Hill

    Wide Receiver, Return specialist
  • 7
    809
    325

    Devin Hester

    Wide receiver
  • 8
    867
    412

    Randy Moss

    Wide receiver

    More Randy Moss 

    #8 of 15 The Worst NFL Trades Ever Made#2 of 38 The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '90s

  • 9
    657
    315

    DeSean Jackson

    Wide receiver

    More DeSean Jackson 

    #283 of 322 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame#36 of 53 Who Is the Best Wide Receiver in the NFL Right Now?

  • 10
    694
    337

    John Ross

    Wide Receiver
  • 11
    720
    362

    Michael Vick

    Quarterback

    More Michael Vick 

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

  • 12
    302
    123

    Dante Hall

    Return specialist, Punt returner
  • 13
    609
    306

    Barry Sanders

    Running back
  • 14
    362
    216

    Marquise Goodwin

    Wide receiver
  • 15
    325
    192

    Willie Gault

    Wide receiver
  • 16
    278
    163

    Champ Bailey

    Cornerback
  • 17
    282
    169

    Joey Galloway

    Return specialist, Wide receiver

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    #114 of 139 The Best Dallas Cowboys Of All Time#19 of 77 The Best Tampa Bay Buccaneers of All Time

  • 18
    344
    216

    Ted Ginn, Jr.

    Wide receiver

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    #15 of 83 The Best Ohio State Buckeyes of All Time#27 of 58 The Best College Football Wide Receivers of All Time

  • 19
    259
    157

    Jamaal Charles

    Running back
  • 20
    268
    180

    Walter Payton

    Running back

    More Walter Payton 

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

  • 21
    161
    100

    Herschel Walker

    Running back, Return specialist
  • 22
    276
    205

    Julio Jones

    Wide receiver
  • 23
    283
    212

    Brandin Cooks

    Wide receiver
  • 24
    161
    111

    Eric Dickerson

    Running back
  • 25
    189
    138

    Tavon Austin