The sport of football, once dominated by sheer force and raw power, has witnessed a shift towards speed and agility. 

This change in the NFL has been spurred on by new rules aimed at curbing excessive violence and an increased emphasis on player health and offensive prowess. So, who are the pace-setters leading the charge into 2023? 

Speed in football isn't just about raw data or 40-yard dash times; it's an amalgamation of top speeds, tested speeds, and the quickness you can see with your eyes on the field. 

With that in mind, let's hit play on the game film and dive into our list of the five fastest players in the NFL.

Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins

Tyreek Hill, wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins, is a force to be reckoned with on the gridiron. 

Renowned for his breathtaking speed, Hill has a recorded 100-meter dash time of 10.19 seconds from 2012, among the top one thousand fastest globally, and a wind-assisted 9.98 seconds, a figure not officially recognized due to excessive wind. 

Hill's speed isn't limited to the track - it translates beautifully to the football field.

During his rookie year, he set a new NFL record for fastest game speed with a 23.24 mph sprint. Although his 40-yard dash time of 4.29 seconds may not place him in the top ten, he's undeniably one of the most formidable speedsters in the game.

Hill's 22.01 mph touchdown reception in Week 5 of 2023 stands as the fastest recorded ball-carrier speed of the year. His exceptional pace and agility make him a standout player and a key asset to the Dolphins.

De’Von Achane, RB, Dolphins

De’Von Achane, the running back for the Miami Dolphins, is a powerful testament to the evolution of speed in the NFL. 

With an impressive average of 12.1 yards per attempt over four games, Achane's efficiency is nothing short of extraordinary. 

The Texas A&M product has achieved three of the top 10 speeds for a ball carrier in 2023, making him an undeniably dominant force on the field.

His speed goes beyond the gridiron, with an official time of 4.32 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, a 10.14 100-meter dash, and a 20.20 200-meter dash. 

Each of these times ranks inside the top 10 in Aggies’ history. Achane is not just a fast player; he's a game changer, and his exceptional speed, combined with his on-field vision and agility, make him a significant weapon for the Dolphins' odds to win.

Raheem Mostert, RB, Dolphins

Again, the Miami Dolphins make the list with their running back Raheem Mostert. He ran 23.09 mph in Week 2 of 2020 and achieved 22.73 mph in Week 1 of 2020, both good enough for 75-plus yard touchdowns according to Next Gen Stats' timing. 

Mostert's speed is not just a recent phenomenon; he has been known for his quickness since his days at Purdue University, where he was often used as a kick returner due to his exceptional pace.

Mostert's journey to becoming one of the fastest players in the NFL has been unconventional. He spent his first two seasons with different teams before settling in with San Francisco and Kyle Shanahan's wide zone rushing style. 

Mostert has never had a career yards-per-carry average of less than five, even though injuries have limited his playing time.

At 31 years old, age is the only thing holding Mostert back from placing higher on this list. Despite possibly losing some horsepower over the years, he remains a valuable asset for the Dolphins with his breakaway speed and reliability as a runner.

Marquise Goodwin, WR, Cleveland Browns

Marquise Goodwin, at 32, is a testament to the enduring power of speed, agility, and experience. A wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, he's known for his outstanding speed on the field, rooted in a well-documented history on the track. 

His recorded 100-meter dash time of 10.43 seconds may not rival Hill's 10.19, but his 60-meter dash at 6.69 is only a hair slower than Hill's 6.68, underscoring his extraordinary quickness.

Goodwin is not just a football player; he's an Olympian. He represented Team USA as a long jumper in the 2012 Olympic Games, a further testament to his athleticism and versatility. 

On the gridiron, Goodwin's speed is more than just a numerical value—it translates into real offensive impact, with a notable average of 16.2 yards per reception, underscoring his downfield prowess. 

While age may be a factor, Goodwin's continued performance demonstrates the lasting value of speed and experience in the high-octane world of NFL football.

Tariq Woolen, CB, Seattle Seahawks

Tariq Woolen, cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, is a player who breaks the mold. Standing at a towering 6-foot-4, Woolen's height could have been a disadvantage in his position, but he has deftly transformed it into one of his greatest assets. 

His exceptional length allows him to stride at impressive speeds, most notably achieving a 4.26 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, a time that ties for the fifth-fastest ever recorded at the event.

Woolen's speed isn't confined to test runs; it's evident in the heat of play. His 40-yard interception return speed entered the top ten fastest speeds of the 2022 NFL season. 

This speed, combined with his rare physical build, makes Woolen an anomaly in the world of NFL defenders. 

Despite the challenges his unusual height might present, Woolen has proven not just to exist within the NFL's athletic extremes but to excel. His unique blend of length and speed creates a formidable defense that sets a pace few can match.


Speed in the NFL is not just about raw numbers; it's about how players leverage their velocity for strategic advantage, creating dynamic, unpredictable, and thrilling games that captivate audiences worldwide. 

As the league continues to evolve, so will the importance of speed on the field. With advancements in training methods and technology, there's no doubt that we'll continue to see players defy expectations with their lightning-fast movements and game-changing plays.


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