Disclosure: Sportshubnet is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More.
In this post, we will check out the top 10 fastest NFL players of all time.
The NFL is a league that values speed and athleticism. In every era, there have been players who stood out for their lightning-fast speed, leaving their opponents in the dust.
While speed is not the only factor that makes a successful NFL player, it certainly helps in making game-changing plays.
Over the years, there have been several fast NFL players who have left a lasting impact on the league. From running backs to wide receivers and even defensive players, these players have made their mark with their blazing speed and agility.
In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 fastest NFL players of all time, based on their officially recorded 40-yard dash times.
The 40-yard dash is a standard measurement of a player’s speed and explosiveness, and it is often used to evaluate college and NFL prospects.
While it’s not a perfect indicator of a player’s ability, it does provide a benchmark for comparing players’ speed. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the list of the fastest NFL players of all time.
Table of contents
Top 10 Fastest NFL Players of All Time
10. Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson is a former American football player who played as a running back. He was born in 1985 and played college football at East Carolina University, where he broke out for 2,960 all-purpose yards and 24 touchdowns.
Chris was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, after running a then-record breaking 4.24 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
He won the NFL rushing title with 2,006 yards, becoming the sixth out of eight players in the history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season.
This drove him the nickname CJ2K and bested him the 2009 Offensive Player of the Year Award. He ran more than a thousand yards in six different seasons with the Titans.
He is known for his outstanding performance and exciting speed throughout his career. Chris always sets the opponents in a problem with his impulsive speed in the game. Chris Johnson is number 10 in our list of the top 10 fastest NFL players of all time.
9. Trindon Holliday
Trindon Holliday is a former American football wide receiver and return specialist. He was drafted by the Houston Texans in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL draft.
He played college football at LSU. Holliday is one of the shortest players in the history of the game.
He has also played for the teams like Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, and Oakland Raiders. Trindon Holliday is number 9 in our list of the top 10 fastest NFL players of all time.
8. Cliff Branch
Cliff Branch is a former wide receiver who played for the Oakland Raiders from 1972-1986.
He won a total of three NFL championships with the Raiders in Super Bowl XI, XV, and XVIII. He was chosen by the Raiders in the fourth round of the 1972 NFL Draft after playing college football for the Colorado Buffaloes.
His third season with the Oakland Raiders established his moment. He grabbed 60 passes for 13 touchdowns and 1,092 yards (the former two were career highs).
Cliff drove to the Pro Bowl while also being named First Team All-Pro, owing to him leading the league in yards, touchdowns, and yards per game as a receiver.
He was posthumously selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2022. Cliff Branch is number 8 in our list of the top 10 fastest NFL players of all time.
7. Willie Gault
Willie Gault is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 11 seasons for the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Raiders.
He is considered by many as one of the fastest NFL players of all time, Gault was a member of the Bears team that won Super Bowl XX, and was also a member of the U.S. Olympic team that boycotted the 1980 Olympics.
Gault played college football at the University of Tennessee from 1979 to 1982. He still maintains numerous school kickoff return records.
He also stays involved in masters athletics, forming world masters records in the 100 meters and 200 meters dashes for the 45–49, the 50–54, and the 55–59 age groups.
6. Randy Moss
Randy Moss is a former NFL wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, and the San Francisco 49ers.
He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most gifted wide receivers of all time, he also holds the NFL single-season touchdown reception record (23 in 2007), the NFL single-season touchdown reception record for a rookie (17 in 1998) and is second on the NFL all-time regular season touchdown reception list with 156.
Moss was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft, where he played for almost seven years and was then traded in 2005 to the Oakland Raiders.
In 2007, Moss was dealt to the New England Patriots, where he established the single-season record for touchdown receptions.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018 and is a constituent of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. Randy Moss is number 6 in our list of the top 10 fastest NFL players of all time.
5. Ike Taylor
Ike Taylor is one of the fastest NFL players ever, ranking fifth on the list. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL) in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft and expended his whole 12-year career in Pittsburgh.
He played college football at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He was formerly an analyst for NFL Now and additional shows on the NFL Network.
4. Deion Sanders
Deion Sanders is a former player who is the head football coach at Jackson State. He is Nicknamed “Prime Time” and “Neon Deion“.
He played in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and Baltimore Ravens.
Sanders was also a baseball outfielder for nine seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, and San Francisco Giants.
He triumphed in two Super Bowl titles and made one World Series appearance in 1992, making him the only athlete in history to play in both a Super Bowl and a World Series.
During his career, he was anointed to eight Pro Bowls, received six first-team All-Pros, and produced successive Super Bowl appearances in Super Bowl XXIX with the 49ers and Super Bowl XXX with the Cowboys, winning in both cases.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
3. Darrell Green
Darrell Green was a cornerback who played for the Washington Redskins from 1983 to 2002. He is widely believed to be one of the greatest cornerbacks to have ever played in the NFL.
Green was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008. Green was nicknamed the “Ageless Wonder” by his counterparts for his power to keep a high level of play well into the dusk of his career.
He was also comprehended for his breathtaking speed and was one of the fastest players in the history of the NFL, registering the fastest 40-yard dash time in NFL history.
2. Bo Jackson
Bo Jackson does not need any introduction in this list. He is an American former professional baseball and American football player.
He is the only professional athlete in history to be designated an All-Star in both baseball and football.
Jackson’s elite achievements in numerous sports have given him prominence as one of the greatest athletes of all time.
He played in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Raiders and in Major League Baseball for the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, and California Angels.
Jackson still has the record for most runs for 90+ yards from scrimmage with two. Bo Jackson is number 2 in our list of the top 10 fastest NFL players of all time.
1. Robert Hayes (Bob Hayes)
Robert Hayes is the fastest NFL player ever. He was known for his blazing speed and spent 11 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys.
He was nicknamed “Bullet Bob”, and was an Olympic gold medalist sprinter who then became an American football wide receiver in the National Football League.
Bob Hayes is the only athlete in history to win both an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring.
Hayes was glorified in the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 2001 and was designated for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in January 2009.
Hayes is the second Olympic gold medalist after Jim Thorpe to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He once owned the world record for the 70-yard dash with a blistering time of 6.9 seconds. Bob also tied the record for being the world’s second-fastest time in the 60-yard dash.
He has once deemed the “world’s fastest human” due to his multiple world records in the 60-yard, 100-yard, 220-yard, and Olympic 100-meter dashes.
The NFL is full of fast players, but these are the top 10 fastest. These guys have run a 4.2 or better in their careers, which isn’t easy to do.
The list includes some well-known names like Randy Moss and Deion Sanders who still hold records today.
And then there are those who had their speed on display back in the day like Bo Jackson who may never be beaten when it comes down to pure speed off the line of scrimmage.
Inbox looking a bit bland?
Better sign up to our blog to cram it full of trending Sports, Gaming & Tech updates.