Speed isn’t everything, but it means a lot more to some players than to others.
Thanks to ESPN’s Matt Bowen pouring over the stats and tape from practice across the league, we can determine which players will be playing roadrunner when coming up against the coyote of opposing defenses.
Here are, arguably, the fastest players in the NFL:
- Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Whether in a straightaway or zig-zagging through the defense, Hill’s speed is staggering. He runs unbelievably fast, cuts just a quick, and he can catch, return, or play running back. Speed meets versatility for the best possible results.
Track times: 10.19 seconds (100 meters), 20.14 seconds (200 meters) | 40 time: 4.24 seconds
- Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Former NCAA long jump champion continutes to be a threat because of his overwhelming speed. When a guy can make veteran’s like Darrelle Revis look like a stump, you know you’re among the quickest players in the league.
Track times: 10.24 (100), 21.24 (200) | 40 time: 4.27
- J.J. Nelson, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Nelson has managed to carve out a name for himself as a go-to guy when it’s time for a big play. His speed has helped him average 19.3 yards per catch in his previous two NFL seasons. The 5’10, 160-lbs speedster seems to adhere to the mantra of Go Big, or Go Home.
Track times: 10.49 (100), 21.76 (200) | 40 time: 4.28
- Ted Ginn Jr., WR, New Orleans Saints
The ‘old man’ on the list at 32, Ginn has been running laps around his opponents in the NFL since 2007. His speed already has Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees excited to play with him. Ginn is versatile too, with the skillset to catch, return, and even chase down even the quickest competition,
Track times: 10.2 (100), 21.16 (200) | 40 time: 4.28
- Jakeem Grant, WR, Miami Dolphins
The punt returning rookie found a good home for his talents in Miami, and the Dolphins are no doubt pleased about his first year performance and potential moving forward. He’s quick on the straightaway, and almost as quick when he’s deking around the defense. He’s small (5’6 and 165-lbs), he’s young, and he’s gone before the defense knows it.
Track times: 10.41 (100) | 40 time: 4.38
The times come down to the smallest fractions of a second, and the list of guys who are almost indeterminably slower than these five is long and stacked with talent.
DeSean Jackson, John Ross, Brandin Cooks, Taylor Gabriel, Odell Beckham Jr., Patrick Peterson, and Julio Jones also made Matt Bowen’s list.
The difference between the fastest and slowest names: 0.21 seconds.