Top 10 Fastest NFL Players in History

Fastest NFL Players in History: In the NFL world, being fast has always been super important for winning games. Even when teams are picking new players, they care about how fast they are. So, if a player wants to catch the eye of the scouts, they need to be faster than most.

Once the game starts, players have to be quick because the other team will try all sorts of moves to make things tough. That’s where speed and agility become a big deal.

The NFL has a long and interesting history with lots of amazing players. Some of these players became famous for being super fast. They left their mark in the game by being quick.

Top 10 Fastest NFL Players in History

Now, let’s check out a list we made of some of the fastest NFL players ever. We put this list together by looking at reliable sources on the internet. Okay, let’s dive into the world of the fastest NFL players!

10. DeSean Jackson

Let’s kick off our list of the fastest NFL players with DeSean Jackson. The Philadelphia Eagles chose him in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft, and before making it to the NFL, he played college football for the California Golden Bears.

Now at 36 years old, Jackson has been one of the fastest players in the NFL for a long time. In the year he got drafted, he blazed through a 4.24-second 40-yard dash – that’s seriously speedy!

Although he started his NFL journey with the Eagles, Jackson has also played for the Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Los Angeles Rams. Currently, he’s signed with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Apart from his incredible speed, Jackson has some impressive career highlights. He’s been named second-team All-Pro and made it to the Pro Bowl three times.

As of Week 14 in 2021, Jackson’s career stats in the NFL include 626 receptions, 11,050 receiving yards, 50 receiving touchdowns, and he’s added 1,350 return yards with 4 return touchdowns to his name.

9. Marquise Goodwin


Let’s move on to the next player on our list, the 33-year-old Marquise Goodwin, who currently serves as a wide receiver and kick returner for the Chicago Bears.

One remarkable thing about Goodwin is that he’s not just an NFL player; he’s also an Olympian who competed in the long jump in track and field. That alone tells you he’s got serious speed.

The Buffalo Bills picked Goodwin in the third round, 78th overall, in the 2013 NFL Draft. Even though he participated in track and field during high school, he also played college football.

Goodwin was the fastest player in his draft class, setting a record with a 4.27-second 40-yard dash at the 2013 NFL Combine. After his debut with the Bills, he went on to play for the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Looking at his NFL career stats, Goodwin has made 152 receptions, gained 2,496 receiving yards, and scored 13 receiving touchdowns.

8. Randy Moss

Randy Moss, a former football player, had an impressive 14-season career in the NFL and is widely regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers ever. Before his NFL days, Moss also played college football.

The Minnesota Vikings picked him in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft. Back then, he was the third fastest player in the entire 1998 draft class, showcasing his speed with a record-setting 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

Moss spent seven years with the Vikings before moving on to the Oakland Raiders in 2005. In his first year in the NFL, he snagged the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Beyond these two teams, Moss also had stints with the New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, and the San Francisco 49ers.

Some of Moss’s standout achievements include holding the NFL single-season touchdown reception record and the rookie record for touchdown receptions. He’s also the second-highest on the NFL’s all-time regular season touchdown receptions list.

Looking at Moss’s overall career in the NFL, he made 982 receptions, gained 15,292 yards, had an average of 15.6 yards per reception, and scored an impressive 156 touchdowns.

7. John Ross

John Ross, the wide receiver for the New York Giants, is up next on our list. The Cincinnati Bengals chose him as the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and he played college football at the University of Washington.

Ross made headlines at the NFL Combine by breaking Chris Johnson’s record for the 40-yard dash. He clocked in at an incredible 4.22 seconds, and that record still stands.

ESPN even ranked Ross as the third-best wide receiver prospect in the draft. After being picked by the Bengals, he made his professional debut against the Houston Texans on September 14, 2017.

However, Ross has faced challenges due to a shoulder injury that has affected his career. He’s still working to secure a solid position in the NFL.

Taking a look at his career stats in the NFL, Ross has made 62 receptions, gained 957 yards, scored 11 touchdowns, and added 41 rushing yards to his name.

6. Ike Taylor

Now, let’s talk about Ike Taylor, the former football cornerback who takes the number 6 spot on our list. Born as Ivan “Ike” Taylor, this 42-year-old was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft.

Taylor played college football at Louisiana University at Lafayette. He spent an impressive 12 seasons in the NFL, and interestingly, his entire career was with the Steelers.

When the Steelers picked Taylor, he was not known for his experience or consistency in the game. Instead, he stood out for his rare combination of size and speed, boasting a remarkable 4.18-second 40-yard dash.

Despite some skepticism about his potential, including being called the worst pick in history by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Markus Madden, Taylor had a successful career. He contributed to the Steelers winning two Super Bowl championships (XLI, XLIII) before announcing his retirement in 2015.

Reflecting on his stats over his 12 seasons in the NFL, Taylor racked up 636 tackles, forced 2 fumbles, recovered 4 fumbles, deflected 144 passes, made 14 interceptions, and even scored 1 defensive touchdown.

5. Joey Galloway

Joey Galloway used to play professional football in the NFL. He started with the Seattle Seahawks in 1995, where he made a quick impact as a wide receiver. In his first season, he set records for a rookie with 67 catches, 1,067 receiving yards, and three games with over 100 yards.

Galloway played for several teams during his 16-year career, including the Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New England Patriots. He also had stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins before retiring in 2010.

Throughout his career, Galloway made 701 receptions, gained 10,950 yards, scored 77 touchdowns, and had 5 return touchdowns. His speed was notable, with reports suggesting he ran the 40-yard dash in a record-breaking 4.18 seconds in 1995, although the NFL doesn’t officially recognize this time.

4. Bo Jackson

Bo Jackson is a retired football running back and former professional baseball player. He holds the unique distinction of being the only athlete in history to become an All-Star in both baseball and football.

Before joining the NFL, Jackson played college football for the Auburn Tigers and even won the prestigious Heisman Trophy in 1985. Despite skipping the NFL Combine, he impressed scouts with a remarkable 4.13-second 40-yard dash during his Pro Day.

In 1986, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tried to draft Jackson as the first overall pick in the NFL draft. However, he declined after realizing it wasn’t approved by the NCAA. Eventually, the Los Angeles Raiders selected him in the seventh round, 183rd overall, while he was already playing baseball for the Kansas City Royals.

Initially leaning towards focusing on baseball, Jackson learned that Raiders owner Al Davis was a fan and open to him playing both sports. After negotiations, he signed a five-year, €7.4 million contract with the Raiders. Unfortunately, a career-ending hip injury during a game against the Bengals on January 13, 1991, cut short his NFL career.

Despite the injury, Jackson had a standout year in 1990, making it to the Pro Bowl. His NFL career stats include 2,782 rushing yards, an impressive average of 5.4 yards per carry, and 16 rushing touchdowns.

3. Bob Hayes

Our third athlete is Bob Hayes, a remarkable individual who excelled in both track and field and football. Hayes began as an Olympic sprinter and secured a gold medal. Later, he transitioned to football as a wide receiver, a position known for speed and agility. What sets him apart is that he is the only athlete to achieve both an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring.

The Dallas Cowboys picked up Hayes in the seventh round of the 1964 NFL draft using a future draft pick. He spent an impressive 11 seasons with the Cowboys before moving on to play for the San Francisco 49ers.

Known for his incredible speed, Hayes is often regarded as one of the fastest players in NFL history. Although there’s no official record, it’s believed he once completed a 5.28 60-yard dash and a 9.1 100 dash. Hayes did hold the world record for the 70-yard dash, clocking in at 6.9 seconds. Additionally, he shares the second-fastest time in the world for the 60-yard dash.

Throughout his career, Hayes achieved numerous accolades, including being a Super Bowl Champion (VI), a three-time Pro Bowler, a two-time first-team All-Pro, and a two-time NFL touchdown leader. In 2009, he received the honor of being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His impressive NFL career statistics include 371 receptions, 7,414 receiving yards, and an impressive 71 receiving touchdowns.

2. Tyreek Hill

Our second standout player is 29-year-old Tyreek Hill, a talented wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs selected Hill in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Before making a mark in the NFL, Hill participated in track and soccer during his college years. Unfortunately, a domestic violence arrest controversy led to him not being invited to the NFL draft. However, he showcased his skills at West Alabama’s Pro Day, impressively running a 4.29 40-yard dash.

Despite some teams removing him from their draft boards, the Kansas City Chiefs took a chance on Hill. Initially starting as the punt returner, kick returner, and fourth wide receiver, he later transitioned to a full-time wide receiver role. Hill has since proven himself as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL.

His impressive list of career honors includes being a Super Bowl Champion (LIV), a three-time first-team All-Pro, a second-team All-Pro, and a six-time Pro Bowler. Additionally, he earned a spot on the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team.

Hill’s career NFL statistics include 452 receptions, 6,323 receiving yards, 717 rushing yards, 1,393 return yards, and an impressive 66 total touchdowns.

1. Darrell Green

At the pinnacle of our list is the legendary Darrell Green, a former football player widely regarded as one of the greatest cornerbacks in NFL history and, notably, one of the fastest players ever.

Green embarked on his professional journey when the Washington Redskins drafted him in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft. Despite being the last player selected in the first round, Green quickly made a name for himself.

During a Washington Redskins training camp, Green set an astounding 4.09 40-yard dash record, showcasing his exceptional speed. Even more impressively, at the age of 50 in 2010, he once again demonstrated his speed by recording a 4.43 40-yard dash.

Green enjoyed an illustrious 20-season career in the NFL, spending every moment with the Washington Redskins. His remarkable achievements include winning two Super Bowls (XXII, XXVI), earning four first-team All-Pro selections, and being selected to the Pro Bowl seven times.

In recognition of his outstanding career, Darrell Green was rightfully inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008. His impressive NFL career statistics reflect 1,159 tackles, 54 interceptions, and 6 touchdowns. Darrell Green’s legacy not only rests on his incredible skill as a cornerback but also on his remarkable speed, making him a true icon in the history of the NFL.

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