The start of the NFL season is fast approaching. Football fans all over the country are suffering major withdrawal symptoms, struggling to get their football fix, whilst anxiously counting down to the NFL 2019 opener between the Bears and the Packers.
If you are one of those troubled souls then fear not, you are in good company here and this article should satiate your football appetite for the time being as we look at the NFL’s fastest players. Every season, speed is measured over 40-yards at the NFL Combine, giving teams an indication of which college graduates will be most suitable for them.
The current record for this event is held by John Ross, the Cincinnati Bengals playmaker who chalked up a speed of 4.22 seconds in 2017
. That’s pretty fast, but what we’re interested in for this article is running speed with the ball. When the weight of a helmet, padding and the fans expectations are all on the players’ shoulders.
Read on to find out the five fastest NFL players from the 2018 season.
5. Saquon Barkley – 21.91 MPH
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley was one of the stand-out performers of NFL 2018. Barkley’s performances for his team helped him win the Rookie of the Year award as well as widespread plaudits from pundits and fans.
Strength, speed and bravery all characterize Barkley’s game and he showed just how fast he is in game week 14 when he clocked speeds of 21.91 mph in a 78-yard rush. In total, Barkley racked up 1,307 rushing yards over the course of last season, ensuring he was a good selection for players of daily fantasy football. Two weeks prior to Barkley’s 78-yard rush, Phillip Lindsay of the Denver Broncos registered the exact same speed but over a much shorter distance.
Because Saquon Barkley managed to reach his speed over a further distance and sustain it for longer, he squeaks into our top 5 fastest NFL players.
In the blink of an eye, NFL sensation Saquon Barkley runs in a touchdown over 78 yards.
4. Tyreek Hill – 21.95 MPH
Kansas City Chiefs’ wide receiver Tyreek Hill is without a doubt one of the fastest players in the NFL. On the first weekend of NFL 2018, he reached 21.95 mph in a 58-yard reception touchdown.
There’s nothing surprising about that though as Hill has a track record of reaching top speeds. In 2012 he was part of the USA team that won Gold in the 4x100 meter relay at the Barcelona World Junior Championships.
At the same competition, Hill also scooped a Bronze in the 200 meter race. These feats all led to him receiving the rather unimaginative nickname of “Cheetah”. Tyreek Hill’s preparations for NFL 2019 have been clouded by off-field allegations of domestic abuse and child abuse.
News broke that the case against him would be re-opened during the Chiefs summer minicamp, something which has since been denied by authorities
. Hill has not had the best preparation for the new season so it remains to be seen whether he can recreate his performances from NFL 2018 next time around.
Tyreek Hill should be much higher in this list, on paper he is surely the fastest player in the NFL
3. Devin McCourty – 22.05 MPH
There’s no way that a 31-year-old free safety should be anywhere near this list, yet here we are with all round good guy Devin McCourty in at number 3! McCourty’s unbelievable speed reading came in the New England Patriots 25–6 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
McCourty registered the 22.05 mph speed in an 84 yard interception touchdown that helped his team victory. Ultimately, however, it was a season of disappointment for McCourty. Despite his impressive personal performances his side went on to lose the 2018 Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Although don’t feel too bad for Devin McCourty, he has won the Super Bowl on two separate occasions before and will be hoping for a third win before his career comes to an end.
Devin McCourty rolls back the years as he sends the Patriots fans into raptures with this sensational touchdown.
2. Dalvin Cook – 22.07 MPH
After posting impressive figures at the NFL Combine in 2017, several pundits and experts touted Dalvin Cook for big things. The young running back was a hot prospect, but his off-field issues including a series of arrests somewhat tarnished his burgeoning reputation.
All those tangles with the law must have had a positive impact on Cook’s running though, as he is the second speediest player in NFL! In game week 9 the Minnesota Vikings running back hit the headlines when he rushed for a 70 yard gain against the Detroit Lions.
His top speed of 22.07 mph was hailed by fans and pundits as the fastest of the season, but there was one other player who hit a higher speed…
1. Matt Breida – 22.09 MPH
In his maiden professional season, Breida started out as backup to Carlos Hyde for the San Francisco 49ers. He went into the 2018 campaign looking to cement a starting place and managed to do just that after outrunning veteran Alfred Morris in the first few games of the season.
Breida’s first full start came in the second game of the season and it was a moment to remember for the young running back as he claimed a 66-yard touchdown. The longest run by a 49er since Colin Kaepernick in 2014.
As the season reached game week 12, Breida showed no signs of slowing down, either metaphorically or literally. The 24-year-old was clocked at 22.09 mph in a 33 yard rush
making him the fastest player from NFL 2018.