The fastest NFL players ever are some of the best athletes in the world. Their explosive speed on the field propelled them to have great careers in the league. Having quick players is important in the NFL, and there have been some rapid stars in the league’s history, but we’re narrowing it down to find the fastest NFL player ever.
Fastest NFL player ever
Having a high top speed is advantageous to create separation from secondaries and get a touchdown. On the defensive end, it helps in chasing down receivers and running backs easily.
Here are the quickest NFL players of all time.
5. Tyreek Hill, WR
Having the nickname “Cheetah” shows Tyreek Hill is one of the fastest NFL players ever. He recorded a 4.29-second time in the 40-yard dash at West Alabama’s Pro Day. He was then drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Hill lives up to his nickname even when there are pads on. In 2020, he had the fifth-fastest running speed with the ball. And in Week 14, Hill recorded a 44-yard receiving touchdown with a speed of 21.91 miles per hour. Unreal.
Cheetah is considered one of the best receivers in the league right now. So far, he is a six-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl champion. There’s definitely more to come.
4. Deion Sanders, CB
Deion Sanders was a freak athlete during his time, playing both football and baseball. He was nicknamed “Prime Time” due to his electrifying plays.
Sanders showed a glimpse of his speed in Florida State when he ran 100 meters in 10.21 seconds. During the 1989 NFL Combine, he ran the 40-yard dash in just 4.21 seconds. He was then drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the 1989 NFL Draft.
Sanders was an eight-time Pro Bowler, six-time All-Pro, Defensive Player of the Year, and two-time Super Bowl champion.
3. Bo Jackson, RB
At 6’1″ 227 lbs, Bo Jackson is the fastest pound-for-pound NFL player of all time. He was literally a freight train—boasting unreal strength and lightning speed.
During the NFL Combine, Jackson ran a 40-yard dash in 4.12 seconds. He set the record for the fastest verified 40-yard dash time in the Combine. The Los Angeles Raiders took notice of his speed and drafted him in the 1987 NFL Draft.
In just four seasons, Jackson rushed for 2,782 yards and 16 touchdowns before going down with a career-ending hip injury. He’s one of the biggest what-ifs in the NFL.
2. Darrell Green, CB
At the age of 50, it was reported that Darrell Green ran a 40-yard dash in just 4.43 seconds. This is impressive for those who are in their top shape and in their prime, but Green did it at 50 years old which makes it more unbelievable.
Green was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 1983 NFL Draft. Many have reported that he ran some unbelievable speeds in their training camp. Once he ran a 40-yard dash in just 4.09 seconds in 1986.
It was considered that Green is one of the best cornerbacks to ever play the game due to his speed. He was a seven-time Pro Bowler, one-time All-Pro, and a two-time Super Bowl champion. But what makes him different from the rest is his ability to play at the highest level even late into his career.
1. Bob Hayes, WR
Bob Hayes is arguably the fastest NFL player ever. He was nicknamed “Bullet Bob” due to the meteoric speed he had. It was rightfully so since he set an Olympic world record of 10.06 seconds in the 100-meter dash. This has since been beaten by Usain Bolt and many others.
He also won a second gold medal in the 4×100-meter relay, where he also set a world record of 39.06 seconds.
After representing the United States at the Olympics, Hayes was drafted by the Cowboys in the 1964 NFL Draft. During his time there, he was a three-time Pro Bowler and was inducted in 2009 into the Football Hall of Fame.
Up to this date, Hayes is the only player to win both an Olympic gold medal and Super Bowl.