Top 10 Fastest NFL Players of This Year

Fascinated with speed? Want to know who the real-life flash on the NFL field is? Well, say no more! In this write, we take a look at the Top 10 Fastest NFL Players of 2021.

NFL is a sport of strength, speed, and power. So having a running back or a wide receiver quick off the blocks goes a long way in deciding a match.

So, on that note, let’s take a look at the Top 10 Fastest NFL Players of 2021.

Top 10 Fastest Players of 2021

The following list features the fastest ball carries in the NFL regular season thus far and is compiled from various reliable sources such as NFL.com and NBC Chicago.

Here is a quick list of the Top 10 Fastest NFL Players of 2021 before diving into the player profiles.

NameSpeed
10. Anthony Schwartz20.43 mph
9. Isaiah McKenzie20.52 mph
8. Henry Ruggs20.62 mph
7. Brandin Cooks20.62 mph
6. Joe Mixon20.66 mph
5. David Montgomery20.80 mph
4. Khalil Herbert20.88 mph
3. Devin Duvernay21.01 mph
2. Sammy Watkins21.05 mph
1. Melvin Gordon21.52 mph

10. Anthony Schwartz

  • Speed: 20.43 mph
  • Position: Wide Receiver

Starting off our list, Anthony Schwartz is an American wide receiver who plays for the Cleveland Browns. The young starlet from Florida is a pace merchant, clocking at an impressive ball-carrying speed of 20.43 mph.

Unsurprisingly, Schwartz was lightning quick right from the off. A world-class sprinter during his high-school years, Schwartz holds the world-best under-18 record in the 100 meters category.

fastest nfl player 2021
Anthony Schwartz. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

Not to mention, he set a World Youth Best record of 10.15 seconds in 100 meters in 2017.

As for his professional NFL career, the 21-year-old was the 91st pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Cleveland Browns signed Schwartz on a four-year contract worth $4.86 million.

9. Isaiah McKenzie

  • Speed: 20.52 mph
  • Position: Wide Receiver

Known for his incredible speed and split-second reactions, Isaiah McKenzie features at number 9 on our list. The wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills is not only efficient in his gameplay but is also a treat to watch. 

Primarily a wide receiver, McKenzie is versatile in his gameplay as the 26-year-old has also played as a punt returner, running back, and cornerback in the NFL.

Furthermore, having started his career with the Denver Broncos in 2017, McKenzie signed for the Bills after being waived off by the Broncos in late-2018. He rose to prominence in late 2020, which earned him an impressive re-signing with the Bills worth $1.15 million.

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You could argue that his versatility is both a blessing and a curse. While he can cover many positions, the same fact has hindered the possibility of cementing his place in a particular role. 

However, every time he is on the field, Isaiah has regularly tormented the opposition with his pace and breathtaking acceleration.

8. Henry Ruggs

  • Speed: 20.62 mph
  • Position: Wide Receiver

If speed is the game, then Henry Ruggs III is one of the title challengers. Currently representing the Las Vegas Raiders, Ruggs is menacingly quick, often leaving the opposition in the dust.

To highlight his achievements, Henry was the fastest player in the 2020 NFL Combine. Furthermore, with a 4.27-second 40-yard dash, Ruggs is tied for the fourth-fastest of the NFL Combine for all time.

fastest nfl player 2021
Henry Ruggs. (Source: Charles LeClaire | USA TODAY Sports)

Following his impressive showing at the Combine, the Raiders snatched him in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

After making his NFL debut against the Carolina Panthers in 2020, Ruggs has consistently been running rings around the opposition defense with his abrupt speed.

As such, it is no surprise that the blistering speedster clocked in at 20.62 mph, featuring as one of the fastest NFL players of 2021.

7. Brandin Cooks

  • Speed: 20.62 mph
  • Position: Wide Receiver

A collegiate star back in his day, Brandin Tawan Cooks is an American wide receiver who currently represents the Houston Texans. In his long list of collegiate honors, Cooks boasts an All-American recognition to his name.

Similarly, he was also awarded the Biletnikoff Award, Hawaii Bowl Champion, and First-team All-Pac-12 during his illustrious collegiate career.

On the professional side of things, the pacy wide receiver was picked up by the Saints at the first round of the NFL Draft 2014. Ever since his debut, Cooks has injected some severe pace onto the field.

Furthermore, with 81 receptions for 1,150 yards and six touchdowns during the 2020 season, Cooks has shown that he is quick and ever-dependable.

What’s more, the pacy and result-oriented wide receiver is the second player to record a 1,000-yard receiving season with four different teams, along with Brandon Marshall.

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6. Joe Mixon

  • Speed: 20.66 mph
  • Position: Running Back

Speeding our way through the fastest NFL players of 2021, we have Joseph Tyler Mixon at number 6. The running back for Cincinnati Bengals is one of the fastest players the NFL has ever seen. 

They say great players show signs of their brilliance very early on. Likewise, as the speedy running back, Joe was recognized with USA Today High School All-American in 2013.

While his collegiate career was mixed, NFLDraftScout.com ranked Mixon as the fifth-best running back. Furthermore, Sports-Illustrated and Pro Football Focus ranked the talented running back as the fourth-best and the third-best running back, respectively.

Joe Mixon. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

However, despite his stellar rankings, the NFL scouting combine declined to invite him, given his outbursts in his collegiate career. 

Eventually, Cincinnati Bengals drafted him in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. And ever since then, Joe Mixon has been synonymous with extravagant pace and lightning-quick presence on the field.

After terrorizing oppositions with his frightening pace, Mixon signed a deserved $48 million contract extension to keep him with the Cincinnati Bengals until 2024.

5. David Montgomery

  • Speed: 20.80 mph
  • Position: Running Back

A fearsome competitor and an ominously quick athlete, David Montgomery is a player that strikes fear in the hearts of the opposition. The Chicago Bears running back is zooming through the 2021 season, recording an astonishing ball-carrying speed of 20.80 mph.

A sturdy yet incredibly agile athlete, David has repeatedly shown his class and finesse on the field. The 2015 Division III Ohio Player of the Year glides past his opponents like they aren’t even there. 

What’s more, the highly skillful running back was tearing apart opposition defenses right back from his high-school years, which led to him being awarded the 2015 Southwest District Offensive Player of the Year.

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Despite a shaky start to his collegiate career, David grew into his role with each passing year. He went on to have four straight 100-yard games with five touchdowns during the 2018 collegiate season.

As for his NFL career, David made his debut for the Chicago Bears against the Green Bay Packers in 2019. After cutthroat performances under his belt, he became the feature running back for the Bears in the 2020 season.

As the leading running back for his team, the Ohio-born athlete finished the 2020 season with 247 rushes for 1,070 yards and eight touchdowns. Furthermore, his staggering rushing yards statistics of 1070 was the fifth-most in the NFL.

4. Khalil Herbert

  • Speed: 20.88 mph
  • Position: Running Back

The Chicago Bears signed Khalil Herbert in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft to build a pacy running back core. Herbert is also a teammate and compatriot of David Montgomery, playing in the running back position.

However, he has already shown his ability on the ball, backed by his impeccable speed and devastating acceleration.

fastest nfl players 2021
Khalil Herbert. (Source: chicagobears.com)

Before the NFL, Herbet played for Kansas Jayhawks and Virginia Tech during his collegiate career. After transferring to Virginia Tech in 2020, the Florida-born athlete set the school record for all-purpose yards during his collegiate career.

The pacy running back is just getting started in the NFL and hopes to rattle the opposition defenses in the coming days.

3. Devin Duvernay

  • Speed: 21.01 mph
  • Position: Wide Receiver

At number 3, Devin Duvernay is an American wide receiver who plays for the Baltimore Ravens. The 24-year-old was drafted by the Ravens in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Cousin of Kyler Murray, Devin is enjoying a more active role in the current season. Additionally, with injuries to Miles Boykin and Rashod Bateman, Devin has the chance to cement himself in the starting lineup for good.

Moreover, clocking a mesmerizing speed of 21.01 mph, Devin Duvenray is destined to blitz past defenses and add to his paltry touchdown stats in the NFL.

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2. Sammy Watkins

  • Speed: 21.05 mph
  • Position: Wide Receiver

With a ball-carrying speed of 21.05 mph, Samuel Benjamin Watkins IV is the second-fastest player in the league so far.

The former Kansas City Chiefs player is in a class of his own. Moreover, with a Super Bowl ring to his name, Watkins has delivered unforgettable moments on the NFL field. 

Having started his career with the Buffalo Bills, Watkins went on to play for the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs before moving to the Baltimore Ravens on April 2, 2021.

Sammy Watkins for the Buffalo Bills in 2015. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

Despite seven years’ worth of experience under his belt already, Watkins has no intention of slowing down, both physically and mentally.

After an instrumental contribution in the Chiefs’ path to Super Bowl glory, Watkins has been pushing himself for more of the same. Furthermore, it is evident in his gameplay and output on the field as the phenomenal wide receiver has consistently delivered when called upon. 

1. Melvin Gordon

  • Speed: 21.52 mph
  • Position: Running Back

The real-life flash on the field, Melvin Gordon III, is the fastest player on our list with a ball-carrying speed of 21.52 mph. Moreover, backed by his athleticism as a track & field athlete early on, Gordon is frighteningly quick, almost as if he has an engine attached to his calf.

With serious pace comes serious responsibility. And Gordon has inherited that mantle to perfection. Besides, his career spans over six years in the NFL, where he has waltzed past numerous defenses and left countless opponents to taste the dirt.

Gordon is well-accomplished in terms of his career accolades as well. Also, with nine individual career awards to his name, Melvin Gordon is a name that fondly echoes through the echelons of lightning-quick NFL running backs.

Conclusion

NFL celebrates athletes with tantalizing speed, with teams vying out for a devastatingly quick athlete on their team. So, it is no surprise that we get to witness “you blink, you miss” moments in the NFL year-in-year-out.

Finally, to sum up, the players mentioned above provide their team with the option to be quick and direct. As a result, they push themselves to be the fastest on the pitch – allowing us to witness the Top 10 Fastest NFL Players of 2021.

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