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Who Is The Fastest Player In The NFL?

Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill is famous for his ridiculous speed. He is one of the NFL’s fastest players, and he tried to secure the title some years ago. 

Now the question is, who is the fastest player in the NFL as of today? 

In 2019, 49ers running back Matt “The Cheetah” Breida snatched the cheetah honors, notching the fastest play in the season with his 83-yard rushing touchdown. According to NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Breida was able to reach a top speed of 22.30 miles per hour.[1]

Matt Breida As The Fastest Player In The NFL

Running back Matt Breida of the San Francisco 49ers is, without a doubt, is the NFL’s true cheetah.

Since the 2019 regular season is already completed, and the Niners are expecting to open up their first postseason campaign since 2014, Breida successfully ended the year as the league’s fastest player. 

Breida reached a top speed of 22.3 miles per hour, which made him outshine the wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson of Chicago Bears by the slimmest of margins, seven one-hundredths of a second.

Breida managed an 83-yard scamper for a touchdown, making the mark return in Week 5 on Monday Night Football against the Cleveland Browns. Back in 2018, he also set the same mark against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He ripped off a 33-yard rush in Week 12, reaching a speed of 22.09 miles per hour.

The Top 10 Fastest NFL Players 

Below are the 10 fastest NFL players from the NFL season of 2019, all thanks to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats.[2]

PlayerTeamTop speed (mph)Play event
Matt Breida 49ers22.383-yard rushing TD
Cordarrelle PattersonBears22.2346-yard rush
Brandon WilsonBengals22.0392-yard kickoff return TD
Nick Chubb Browns21.95 88-yard rushing TD
Christian McCaffreyPanthers21.95 84-yard rushing TD
Saquon Barkley Giants21.8968-yard rushing TD
Mecole Hardman Chiefs21.87 63-yard reception TD
Darren Waller Raiders21.7675-yard reception TD
Saquon Barkley Giants 21.7659-yard rush
Mecole Hardman Chiefs21.7483-yard reception TD

Details of Some of The NFL’s Fastest Players

Here are a brief information about some of the fastest NFL players mentioned above:

Cordarrelle Patterson

Cordarrelle Patterson is the wide receiver for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. Patterson is also known as the Flash. In the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, he was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. 

As per NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Patterson was able to reach 22.23 miles per hour on the run, the fastest speed reached by a ball carrier over the past two seasons.

Brandon Wilson

While Brandon James Wilson, an American football safety for the Cincinnati Bengals, is taking a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the 2019 season, Wilson was able to hit 22.03 miles per hour. He ended up the year with an average of NFL-best 31.3 yards per kickoff return.

In the 2017 NFL Draft, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round, 207th overall. The team elected to use Wilson at safety rather than the cornerback position he used to play in college.

Nick Chubb

Nicholas Jamaal Chubb, an American football running back for the Cleveland Browns, reached 21.95 miles per hour at the peak of his run. It is the fastest speed made by anyone on a touchdown run in the 2019 season, as per NFL’s Next Gen Stats. 

Quarterback Baker Mayfield, who reached 18.92 miles per hour while running after Chubb down the field in celebration, stated that Chubb can roll. 

Christian McCaffrey

Christian Jackson McCaffrey, an American football running back for the Carolina Panthers, reached 21.95 miles per hour on an 84-yard touchdown run against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2019 season.

In that same year, he put together an All-Pro campaign, racking up 1,387 yards and 15 scores on the ground. He caught 116 passes for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns as well, successfully becoming the first running back in league history with multiple seasons of 100-plus receptions.

Saquon Barkley

Saquon Rasul Quevis Barkley, an American football running back for the New York Giants, finished with the league’s sixth-fastest ball-carrier speed each of the last two seasons. Last year, he was able to reach 21.89 miles per hour as a rookie and edged up to 21.91 miles per hour, according to NFL’s Next Gen Stats. 

Mecole Hardman

Carey Mecole Hardman is Kansas City Chiefs’ American football wide receiver and return specialist. In the second round (56th overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft, he was selected by the team. 

In the 2019 season, Hardman proudly topped out at 21.74 miles per hour on his 83-yard receiving TD, the fastest speed reached by a ball carrier on a scoring play.

Darren Waller

Darren Charles Waller is an American football tight end for the Las Vegas Raiders. He started to play college football at Georgia Tech. In the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 204th overall selection, he was selected by the Baltimore Ravens. 

He was then signed by the Oakland Raiders off the Ravens’ practice squad on November 26, 2018. As per NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Waller topped out at 21.76 MPH on his 75-yard reception against the Broncos in week 17.

Read: How many rings does Tom Brady have.

Final Words 

Despite his knee, shoulder, and ankle issues during the past year, and his second NFL season was cut short after a worsening ankle injury, Matt Breida was still able to end the year with 814 rushing yards and averaged 5.32 yards per carry. It was the ninth-highest in 49ers history, among players with at least 100 carries in a single season. 

In conclusion, Matt Breida just got a little faster over the course of the year, proving yet again that he is, indeed, the fastest NFL player. 

What can you say about this? Do you agree that Matt Breida is the fastest player in the NFL? Is there anyone you know in the NFL that is faster than him? We’d love to hear your thoughts! 

If you enjoyed reading this article, you might also like our write up on triple option offense or read about the different offensive positions in football.

Resources:

 1. “NFL Next Gen Stats.” https://nextgenstats.nfl.com/. Accessed 26 Jun. 2020.
 2. “2019 NFL Standings & Team Stats | Pro-Football-Reference.com.” https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2019/index.htm. Accessed 26 Jun. 2020.

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