Top 10 Fastest NFL Players in History

In the world of the NFL, speed has always played a crucial role in winning the game. 

Even during the drafting, the team’s scouts look for the prospects’ speed. Therefore, the player needs an above-average speed to impress the scouts.

While in the game, the players need to be fast as the opposing team will try every offense and defense to create an obstacle, speed and agility will matter.

NFL_2021_Week_7_Washington_vs._Packers
NFL 2021 Week 7 Washington VS Packers (Source: Wikimedia.org)

With a rich history like NFL’s, it has seen many great players. It has also seen the players who have left a mark with their speed.

Therefore, we have made a list of some of the fastest players the NFL has seen in history. Their timing and speed have made a place in the game’s history.

So, without further delay, lets us together explore the fastest NFL players of all time.

Top 10 Fastest NFL Players in History

This list has been created referencing to various trusted sources on the internet like Bleacherreport.com. But before diving into the details, let us take a quick look at the table below.

PlayerPosition
10. DeSean JacksonWide Receiver
9. Marquise GoodwinWide Receiver
8. Randy MossWide Receiver
7. John RossWide Receiver
6. Ike TaylorCornerback
5. Joey GallowayWide Receiver
4. Bo JacksonRunning Back
3. Bob HayesSplit End
2. Tyreek HillWide Receiver
1. Darrell GreenCornerback

10. DeSean Jackson

We will start our list of the fastest NFL player with DeSean Jackson. Philadelphia Eagles drafted Jackson in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Before joining the NFL, he played college football for the California Golden Bears.

35 year-old Jackson is one of the fastest players that NFL has seen over the year. The same year he was drafted, Jackson ran a great 4.24 40-yard dash.

Desean_Jackson_2019
Desean Jackson 2019 (Source: Wikipedia.org)

While he started his NFL career with the Eagles, Jackson played for Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Los Angeles Rams. Currently, he is signed with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Apart from his speed, some of his notable career highlights include Second-team All-Pro and three times Pro Bowl.

As of Week 14, 2021, Jackson’s career NFL statistics include 626 receptions, 11,050 receiving yards, 50 receiving touchdowns, 1.350 return yards, and 4 return touchdowns.

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9. Marquise Goodwin

Next, on our list, we have 32 year-old Marquise Goodwin. He is a wide receiver and kicks returner playing for the Chicago Bears.

Something notable about Goodwin is that he was an Olympian who competed in the long jump in track and field. So there is no doubt when we call him one of the fastest NFL players in history.

Marquise_Goodwin_with_the_49ers_in_2018
Marquise Goodwin with the 49ers in 2018

The Buffalo Bills drafted Goodwin in the third round with the 78th pick of the 2013 NFL Draft. Although he played track and field during high school, he also played college football.

He was the fastest player in his draft. He had the record of 4.27 40-yard dash at the 2013 NFL Combine. After debuting with the Bills, Goodwin also played for the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.

As of Week 9, 2021, his career NFL statistics state 152 receptions, 2,496 receiving yards, and 13 receiving touchdowns.

8. Randy Moss

Randy Moss is a former football player who played for 14 seasons in NFL. Moss is regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers of all time. Like most of the players on this list, Moss also played college football.

Minnesota Vikings drafted him in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He was the third-fastest player in the entire 1998 NFL draft class and had the record of a 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

After being drafted by the Vikings, Moss played for the team for seven years before being traded to the Oakland Raiders in 2005. He won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the year award during his rookie year.

Randy_Moss_with_Vikings_2010
Randy Moss with Vikings 2010 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Other than these two teams, he has also played for New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, and the San Francisco 49ers.

Moss’s records during his career are the NFL single-season touchdown reception record and the NFL single-season touchdown reception record for a rookie. Similarly, he also is second on the NFL’s all-time regular-season touchdown reception list.

Moss’s career NFL statistics read 982 receptions, 15.292 receiving yards, 15.6 yards per reception, and 156 receiving touchdowns.

7. John Ross

John Ross is a wide receiver for the New York Giants next on our list. Cincinnati Bengals drafted him ninth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, and during his college years at the University of Washington, he played football.

Ross passed Chris Johnson for the record 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He recorded a 4.22-second 40-yard dash. The record is still intact at the NFL Combine.

ESPN also ranked Ross as the third-best broad receiver prospect in the draft. After being drafted by the Bengals, he made a professional debut against the Houston Texans on September 14, 2017.

John-Ross-Bengals
John Ross with Cincinnati Bengals (Source: Instagram)

A shoulder injury has plagued ross throughout his career. Therefore, he still has yet to cement his position in the NFL properly.

As of Week 14, 2021, his career NFL statistics read 62 receptions, 957 receiving yards, 11 receiving touchdowns, and 41 rushing yards.

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6. Ike Taylor

On our number 6 is the former football cornerback, Ike Taylor. Born as Ivan “Ike” Taylor, this 42 year-older was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft.

Taylor played college football at the Louisiana University at Lafayette. After getting drafted by the Steelers, he played for 12 seasons in NFL before retiring. He spent his whole career with the Steelers.

The Steelers selected Taylor despite his inexperience and lack of consistency during play. He was selected primarily for his rare combination of size and speed, and his record was 4.18 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Ike_Taylor
Ike Taylor (Source: Wikipedia.org)

However, his potential failed to be seen. Taylor was even called the worst pick in history by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Mark Madden.

During his 12 seasons playing in the NFL, he won two Super Bowl championships (XLI, XLIII). Then in 2015, Taylor announced his retirement.

Taylor’s career NFL statistics state 636 total tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, 144 pass deflection, 14 interceptions, and 1 defensive touchdown.

5. Joey Galloway

We have another former professional player next on our list. Joey Galloway was a wide receiver in the NFL who the Seattle Seahawks drafted as the eighth overall pick of the 1995 NFL Draft.

Galloway played football both in his high school and college years. Although the NFL does not recognize his time, he is said to have a record of a 4.18 40-yard dash back in 1995. If this is true, then this time of Galloway is one of the fastest record times ever.

After being drafted by the Seahawks, he immediately impacted the team. He set the franchise season records for a rookie with 67 receptions, 1,067 receiving yards, and three 100-yard games.

Joey_Galloway_2009
Joey Galloway with New England Patriots 2009 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Aside from the Seahawks, in his 16-year-long professional career, Galloway also signed with Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New England Patriots.

Similarly, he also played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins before retiring. Galloway retired in 2010.

Joey Galloway’s career NFL statistics state 701 receptions, 10,950 receiving yards, 77 receiving touchdowns, and 5 return touchdowns.

4. Bo Jackson

Bo Jackson is a former football running back player and professional baseball player. Jackson is the only player in history to be an All-Star in baseball and football.

Before being drafted by the NFL, Jackson played college football for the Auburn Tigers. He even won the prestigious Heisman Trophy in 1985 while playing college football. Although he never attended the NFL Combine, he recorded a 4.13 40-yard dash at Pro Day.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers tried drafting Jackson as the first overall pick of the 1986 NFL Draft. However, after visiting the team facilities, he refused and found it was not NCCA-approved.

Bo_Jackson,_2011_NCAA_Honors_Celebration,_San_Antonio
Bo Jackson in 2011 NCAA Honors Celebration, San Antonio

Jackson then went ahead to play baseball for the Kansas City Royals. Then he found that the Los Angeles Raiders drafted him in the seventh round of the draft with the 183rd pick.

Although Jackson’s original intention was to only focus on baseball, he learned that the Raiders owner Al Davis was his fan. Davis was receptive to Jackson playing both baseball and football.

Therefore, Jackson signed a $7.4 million contract for five years with the Raiders after reaching a negotiation. Unfortunately, he suffered an NFL career-ending hip injury on January 13, 1991, while playing against the Bengals.

Jackson reached the Pro Bowl in 1990. His NFL career statistics state 2,782 rushing yards, 5.4 yards per carrying, and 16 rushings.

3. Bob Hayes

On our number 3 is Bob Hayes, who was an Olympic gold medalist sprinter who later became a football player. He played in the wide receiver position. He is the only athlete who has won an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring.

The Dallas Cowboys drafted Hayes in the seventh round of the 1964 NFL draft with a future draft pick. He played 11 seasons with the Cowboys before signing with the San Francisco 49ers.

Being an Olympic gold medalist sprinter, Hayes is hands down one of the fastest NFL players in history. Even though there’s no official record, it is said he once ran a 5.28 60-yard dash and 9.1 100 dashes.

Bob-Hayes-Dallas-Cowboys
Bob Hayes with Dallas Cowboys (Source: Instagram)

However, Hayes held the world record for the 70-yard dash in a 6.9 seconds. Similarly, he is tied for the world’s second-fastest time in the 60-yard dash.

Some of Hayes’s notable career highlight awards include Super Bowl champion VI, three times Pro Bowl, two times First-team All-Pro, Second-team All-Pro, and two times NFL receiving touchdowns leader.

In 2009 Hayes was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of fame. His NFL career statistics state 371 receptions, 7,414 receiving yards, and 71 receiving touchdowns.

2. Tyreek Hill

On our number 2 is a 28 year-old Tyreek Hills, a wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs drafted Hill in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Hill ran track and played football in his college year. However, he was not invited to the NFL draft due to his domestic violence arrest controversy.

But he was able to show his skills at West Alabama’s Pro Day. In West Alabama’s Pro Day, he recorded a 4.29 40-yards dash.

Tyreek_Hill
Tyreek Hill (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Regardless of his abilities, many teams removed Hill from their draft boards before Kansas City selected him. However, he played as a starting punt returner, kick returner, and fourth wide receiver during the beginning of his season.

Later he transitioned to playing wide receiver. Hill has proved himself to be one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. His notable career awards include Super Bowl champion (LIV), three times First-team All-Pro, Second-team All-Pro, and six times Pro Bowl.

Similarly, he also won the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team. As of Week 12, 2021, Hill’s career NFL statistics state 452 receptions, 6,323 receiving yards, 717 rushing yards, 1,393 return yards, and 66 total touchdowns.

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1. Darrell Green

We have reached the end of our list of fastest NFL players in history. On our number 1, we have Darrell Green, a former football player. Green is widely considered one of the greatest cornerbacks in NFL history.

Not only one of the greatest cornerbacks but Green is also known for his speed. He is also one of the fastest players in NFL history.

Green made his professional debut in NFL after the Washington Redskins drafted him in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, he was the last player selected in the first draft round.

Darrell-Green-playing-for-washington-redskins
Darrell Green with the Washington redskins (Source: Instagram)

At a Washington Redskins’ training camp, Green made a record of 4.09 40-yard dash. Then in 2010, at the age of 50, he again made a record of 4.43 40-yard dash.

Green played 20 seasons in NFL. He spent his entire professional career for Redskins. His notable career awards include two-time Super Bowl champion (XXII, XXVI), four times First-team All-Pro, seven times ProBowl, etc.

In 2008, Green became the Pro Football Hall of Famer. His career NFL statistics state 1,159 tackles, 54 interceptions, and 6 touchdowns.

Conclusion

Speed is necessary for NFL, and these players, with their quick feet, have a significant advantage in the game.

This concludes our list of the top fastest NFL players in history. What do you think of our list? Do let us know.

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