Fastest NFL Running Backs

Elite Speed: Fastest NFL Running Backs in History & 2024

In the world of professional sports, where milliseconds can forge legacies, the National Football League (NFL) has witnessed extraordinary feats of athleticism. Perhaps none more breathtaking than Bo Jackson’s legendary 4.13-second 40-yard dash or Derrick Henry’s 21.27 mph burst during his unforgettable 99-yard touchdown.

These moments are more than mere highlights; they are pinnacles of human potential that have sparked a continuing legacy of record-breaking running backs.

Today, players like Raheem Mostert and Tyreek Hill, with peak speeds of over 23 mph, stand as the Fastest NFL Running Backs, representing an incredible evolution of speed within the league. This surge in athletic mastery brings a whole new meaning to NFL speedsters, sprinting past historical RB speed records and elevating the standard for speedy NFL runners.

In the unfolding narrative of speed on the gridiron, fans and analysts alike have become captivated by the raw velocity that these elite athletes bring to the field. It is a blend of agility and acceleration, a testament to tireless training and natural prowess that shapes the awe-inspiring sprints of record-breaking running backs.

As we gear up to cast our gaze over the speedsters of 2024, it’s essential to look back and honor the remarkable history that has set the stage for today’s speed demons in the NFL.

Key Takeaways

Fastest NFL Running Backs


  • Bo Jackson’s legendary 40-yard dash time stands as one of the top historical RB speed records to date.
  • Raheem Mostert and Tyreek Hill have pushed the envelope, becoming some of the fastest NFL running backs with speeds exceeding 23 mph.
  • Modern NFL speedsters continue to challenge the limits of speed, showcasing how the evolution of athleticism shapes today’s game.
  • Derrick Henry and Saquon Barkley’s remarkable recorded speeds on-field reflect the heightened emphasis on acceleration in the sport.
  • Record-breaking running backs have become icons in the NFL, inspiring upcoming speedy NFL runners with their groundbreaking performances.

Introduction to NFL Speedsters and Their Impact on the Game

The NFL’s rapid pace and emphasis on agility have brought an unprecedented focus on the NFL speedsters, whose breathtaking speeds fundamentally transform the strategies and outcomes of games.

These players, illustrating the essence of top NFL running backs, are not just fast; they are game-changers with an ability to shift the momentum with a single play. As they pierce through defenses with their explosive runs, their performances redefine what it means to be a speedster in today’s game.

In this high-velocity chase, speed demons of the NFL not only drive the ball down the field but also inspire awe and admiration from fans and players alike. The following table depicts some of the most remarkable speed milestones achieved by these swift athletes, demonstrating how their acceleration sets new benchmarks for aspiring running backs.

Player Top Speed (mph) Year
Raheem Mostert 23.09 2020
Matt Breida 22.30 2019
Saquon Barkley 21.76 2018
Leonard Fournette 22.05 2017

The legacy and influence of these NFL speedsters are undeniable as they continue to leave an indelible imprint on the league. By pushing the limits of speed, they not only secure their name in the annals of NFL history but also recalibrate the tactical approaches to both offensive and defensive gameplay around the league.

Fastest NFL Running Backs: In 2024 & Through History

The annals of NFL history honor the Fastest NFL Running Backs, whose unparalleled speed and agility have left an indelible imprint on the sport.

The esteemed title of the Fastest RBs in NFL history includes athletes like Tyreek Hill, who mesmerized fans with his blazing 23.24 mph sprint back in 2016. These players have shaped the Fastest rushing history in the NFL, achieving remarkable feats that remain benchmarks for speed.

Lamar Miller and Leonard Fournette currently share the spotlight for the longest rushing touchdowns, each securing 90-yard rushes that showcase the epitome of speed and endurance.

We can’t discuss NFL speed without acknowledging Christian McCaffrey, whose dual achievement of 1,000 yards in both rushing and receiving in the 2019 season, has placed him among the elites of NFL versatility and talent.

Fastest NFL Running Back


Player Year Top Speed (mph) Notable Achievement
Tyreek Hill 2016 23.24 Record-breaking speed
Lamar Miller 2018 22.00+ 90-yard rushing touchdown
Leonard Fournette 2017 22.05 90-yard rushing touchdown
Christian McCaffrey 2019 21.95 1,000 rushing & receiving yards

These speed virtuosos continue to influence the game, pushing upcoming stars to break beyond established barriers and to make their own mark. While commemorating these historic triumphs, the current and future generations of the NFL draw inspiration, aiming to elevate the exhilarating spectacle of the fastest dashes in NFL history.

Unparalleled Velocity: Raheem Mostert’s Record-Breaking Sprint

When it comes to sheer speed on the football field, few can match NFL standout Raheem Mostert. In a remarkable display of acceleration and agility, Mostert affirmed his status as one of the premier NFL speedsters with a stunning sprint that captured the attention of fans and analysts alike.

His 2020 feat, wherein he dashed to a peak speed of 23.09 mph, not only breaks into the record books but also exemplifies the importance of speed in today’s game.

23.09 mph in 2020: A Peek at Mostert’s Elite Speed

Mostert’s 2020 season was highlighted by an explosive run during which he reached his peak speed. This historic moment has subsequently become a benchmark for other record-breaking running backs to aspire to.

The significance of this achievement goes beyond the raw numbers; it’s a testament to Mostert’s grit, determination, and the elite physical conditioning that places him at the forefront of the league’s best backfield talents.

The Role of Acceleration in Mostert’s Play Style

The DNA of Raheem Mostert’s play style is profoundly defined by his acceleration, an attribute that has proven crucial in his ability to dissect defenses and consistently rack up substantial yardage.

Such explosive speed directly translates into game-changing plays, setting him apart from the pack and reassuring his position as an indispensable asset to any offensive formation within the NFL.

Mostert’s record-breaking ability is not just a personal accolade but an inspiration for young, aspiring football players. His performances demonstrate that with the right combination of speed, technique, and vision, the ceiling for success in the NFL remains boundless for those willing to push the limits of what is conceivable on the gridiron.

The Legacy of Speed Demon Matt Breida

Matt Breida


Matt Breida, a standout among the league’s most agile and fastest NFL running backs, challenged the limits of speed on the gridiron with his record-setting performance.

This shifty and “speedy NFL runner” blasted through expectations and cemented his legacy with a 22.30 mph run that is still talked about today. Breida’s blend of speed and agility placed him into the upper echelon, making every carry a potential breakthrough event for fans and a concern for defensive coordinators.

mph in 2019: Breida’s Astonishing Burst

When discussing the zenith of running back performances, few moments stand out quite like Matt Breida’s lightning-fast dash during the 2019 season. Defining what it means to be a “speedy NFL runner,” Breida’s accelerated burst through the field was not merely a flash of talent but an illustration of his peak physical conditioning and relentless drive for greatness.

This astonishing sprint remains a high point in the annals of NFL speed feats.

Analyzing the Techniques Behind Breida’s Optimal Performance

To achieve such a remarkable feat as becoming one of the “top NFL running backs,” Matt Breida has relentlessly refined his techniques. His optimal performance is owed to a meticulous regimen that emphasizes agility drills, plyometrics, and speed training.

Breida’s ability to read defenses, coupled with explosive cuts and an unwavering dedication to his craft, has established him as a model for aspiring running backs aiming to excel in the professional arena.

Saquon Barkley’s Top Speed and On-Field Explosiveness

The 2018 NFL season witnessed a defining moment when Saquon Barkley, the dynamic running back for the New York Giants, unleashed his full potential and underlined his status among the speed demons of the NFL. Barkley’s on-field explosiveness was quantified in a staggering sprint, etching his name next to the greats in the annals of historical RB speed records.

21.76 mph Achieved by Barkley in the 2018 Season

In a display of sheer athleticism, Barkley reached a top speed of 21.76 mph, a number that rivaled the velocity of some of the NFL’s fastest players. His exceptional performance offered a glimpse of the blend of speed, agility, and power that Saquon Barkley brings to the field.

The Intersection of Athleticism and Speed Training

Barkley’s rapid development into one of the top running backs in the league is rooted in rigorous speed training. His commitment to improving his acceleration and sprinting capability has proven to be an important factor in his rise to prominence.

This meticulous focus on speed training is what sustains Barkley’s reputation as a top-tier athlete and keeps him consistently at the forefront of discussions about the speed demons of the NFL.

Season Top Speed (mph) Yards Gained That Season Touchdowns That Season
2018 21.76 1,307 11
2019 Data not available 1,003 6
2020 Data not available 34 (injured most of the season) 0
2021 Data not available 593 2

Leonard Fournette’s Dominance in Speed Metrics

Leonard Fournette stands out as a beacon of speed among NFL athletes. His record sprint reaching 22.05 mph in the 2017 season not only etched his name in the annals of history but also reinforced the significance of speed in the game.

Fournette’s prowess on the field exemplifies what it takes to be ranked among the fastest RBs in NFL history. In this exploration of sheer velocity, we delve into the attributes that make Fournette one of the most formidable speedy NFL runners.

Reaching 22.05 mph in 2017: Fournette’s Sheer Velocity

During his remarkable run in the 2017 season, Leonard Fournette astonished fans and players alike, unleashing a dominant display of speed and strength. Achieving a peak velocity of 22.05 mph, he demonstrated that he could rival the acceleration and pace of the finest running backs in the league’s history.

Techniques Contributing to Fournette’s High-Speed Runs

Leonard Fournette Speed


The intensity of Fournette’s training regimen lays the groundwork for his exceptional field performances. Emphasizing power, agility, and explosive speed drills, he’s harnessed the quintessential techniques associated with the most agile and speedy NFL runners. Below is a comparison of the key components contributing to Fournette’s high velocity:

Component Description Impact on Fournette’s Speed
Power Training Strength exercises to boost force production. Enables stronger and faster strides.
Agility Drills Maneuvers that enhance quick direction changes. Improves lateral movements and flexibility.
Sprint Practices Short-distance bursts aimed at maximum speed. Increases raw speed and acceleration capacity.
Endurance Training Exercises that build stamina and reduce fatigue. Sustains high-speed performance over longer plays.
Mental Preparation Psychological readiness for on-field scenarios. Sharpens focus and decision-making at high speeds.

Leonard Fournette’s status as one of the fastest RBs in NFL history isn’t a product of mere fortuitous genetics but a testament to his commitment to mastering the mechanics behind speed. His training, matched with his innate athletic abilities, has redefined what a powerful running back can be in professional football.

Tyreek Hill’s 2016 Sprint Still Resonates in NFL Lore

When discussing NFL speedsters, one cannot overlook the phenomenon that is Tyreek Hill. Known for his electrifying pace, Hill’s 2016 sprint which peaked at a breathtaking 23.24 mph continues to reverberate through the football community.

This hallmark achievement not only exemplified Hill’s raw speed but upended expectations for what top NFL running backs could achieve on the field.

Hill’s 23.24 mph Run: Analyzing the Performance

The details behind Tyreek Hill’s unparalleled sprint emphasize the blend of innate skill and extensive training characteristic of elite NFL speedsters. His 2016 performance has become a case study in speed, often compared to other memorable sprints by notable running backs in the league.

Capturing the essence of Hill’s athleticism requires a deep dive into the technical aspects of his run. It is not merely the velocity that astonishes fans and analysts alike, but the effortless acceleration and the sustained top speed, which Hill makes look almost superhuman.

The Training and Discipline Behind Hill’s Speed

Behind the impressive statistics are countless hours of rigorous training. Hill’s discipline extends beyond the field, involving a comprehensive regimen that fine-tunes his explosive power and sprinting mechanics. This is the foundation that keeps Tyreek Hill at the apex among top NFL running backs, a venerated icon representing utmost dedication to the craft.

The influence of Hill’s performance spreads far and wide, inspiring a new generation of NFL hopefuls to aim for such dizzying speeds. He remains a beacon for aspiring athletes who dream of matching or surpassing the yardage that he famously covered in a matter of seconds.

Tyreek Hill has truly etched his name in NFL history, not only for the 2016 sprint but for being a consistent exemplar of extraordinary athleticism and commitment.

The Historical RB Speed Records and Their Influence on Modern RBs

The annals of the NFL are filled with tales of historical RB speed records that have become the benchmarks and aspirational goals for today’s speedy NFL runners. The legendary status of these records continues to foster competition among the fastest RBs in NFL history.

Bo Jackson’s mythic 40-yard dash time and Chris Johnson’s electrifying combine performance have left enduring legacies. These milestones are far more than antiquated high-water marks; they are the foundation upon which current and future talents mold their ambitions and sculpt their training regimens.

Modern-day running backs often look back at the achievements of their predecessors, setting their personal goals to not just equal but to surpass these historical figures.

Whether training for explosive speed or maintaining an enduring pace, their ultimate aim is to etch their names alongside those of the great NFL speedsters whose legendary performances still resonate with the possibilities of human athleticism.

Bo Jackson once remarked, “Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.” His words echo in the mindset of today’s athletes, who understand that the pursuit of speed is an ongoing quest for excellence.

The impact of these historical records is tangible, influencing athletes’ approaches to physical conditioning, strategic gameplay, and the adoption of innovative training techniques aimed at breaking the proverbial speed barrier.

As the league continues to evolve, it is these timeless records that remind us of the incredible feats of agility and speed that define the relentless spirit of competition in the NFL.

NFL Draft Prospects: The Quest for 2024’s Fastest Running Back

Jaylen Wright NFL draft prospect


The anticipation surrounding the 2024 NFL Draft class is reaching a fever pitch as scouts and fans alike turn their attention to identifying the next fleet-footed phenom. In the lineage of Fastest NFL Running Backs, this year’s prospects possess impressive credentials that could change the landscape of the league.

Uncovering the Prospects Poised for Elite Speed

Among the cadre of speedsters vying for the top spot is Jaylen Wright, whose time of 6.29 seconds in the 55-meter dash in high school competition hints at his untapped potential in the professional arena. Similarly, Daequan Hardy’s reputation for zipping past defenders and his kick return prowess suggest that he could translate his skills at the pro level.

Comparing Combine Performances and Predictions for 2024

It is at the NFL Combine where raw potential meets quantifiable performance. Here, athletes like Roman Wilson, who boasts a 40-yard dash time of 4.33 seconds, showcase the genetic gift of speed, augmented by disciplined track training.

Meanwhile, Xavier Worthy recorded a notable 4.29-second time in the same event, raising eyebrows and expectations for his NFL career trajectory.

The forthcoming draft introduces a high-caliber batch of athletes whose benchmark speeds might not only elevate individual careers but also usher in a redefinition of offensive strategies for the franchises that secure their talents.

As the next generation of speed-inclined running backs takes the stage, the proving grounds of the NFL Combine provide a critical glimpse into the future of backfield acceleration.

Technological Advances in Speed Measurement and Training

The sports landscape is witnessing a revolution in how coaches and trainers ascertain and enhance the performance of athletes, especially in the fast-paced world of the NFL. With technological advances surging forward, the accuracy of speed measurement has reached new heights, providing unparalleled insights into the capabilities of NFL speedsters.

GPS and wearable technology are at the forefront of this evolution, offering precise metrics that were once a matter of conjecture but are now quantifiable evidence of a player’s speed and agility.

Ohio State running back Trey Sermon makes his way through agility ladder drills at EXOS in Gulf Breeze, Fla., near Pensacola, on


GPS and Wearable Technology: Tracking Athlete Progression

Modern GPS devices and wearable technology have become integral to tracking athletic progression. These gadgets quantify every aspect of a player’s movements, not only on game day but also throughout their intense training sessions.

For instance, the impressive speeds of Jaylen Wright at 23.6 mph and Kris Abrams-Draine at 21.34 mph were captured with this very same technology. This data empowers teams to tailor their training programs and push their elite athletes to even greater achievements, ensuring their regimens are as efficient as they are rigorous.

How Modern Training Techniques Propel RBs to Break Speed Barriers

In the relentless pursuit of excellence, running backs are benefiting from innovative training techniques that are breaking traditional speed barriers, creating new heroes, and redefining what is deemed possible on the gridiron.

The intricate fusion of this technology with athlete training has been instrumental in the development of NFL talent.

It was this synthesis of speed measurement and cutting-edge training methodologies that enabled John Ross to deliver his breathtaking 4.22-second combine sprint in 2017, a testament to how far the league has come in enhancing athletic performance.

As the NFL continues to evolve, these technological advances will remain pivotal in shaping the future of its speedsters.


Deion Sanders


Who is considered the fastest NFL running back in history?

Bo Jackson is widely considered the fastest NFL running back in history, due to reports of him clocking a 4.13-second 40-yard dash, although this is not officially documented.

What are some record-breaking sprints by NFL running backs in recent years?

Raheem Mostert reached 23.09 mph in 2020, and Tyreek Hill recorded a peak speed of 23.24 mph in 2016, showcasing some of the most remarkable speeds by NFL running backs.

Who are current speed demons of the NFL?

Current speed demons in the NFL include players like Raheem Mostert, Tyreek Hill, Saquon Barkley, and Leonard Fournette, who have all exhibited exceptional speed and rushing performance in their respective seasons.

How do technological advances help in measuring NFL running backs’ speeds?

Modern technology like GPS devices and wearable trackers provide precise, real-time data on athletes’ speeds during games and practices, allowing for more focused and effective training and performance analysis.

Which NFL Draft prospects are anticipated to be the fastest running backs in the 2024 class?

In the 2024 NFL Draft class, prospects like Jaylen Wright with his notable high school track times, and Roman Wilson and Xavier Worthy with their impressive combine 40-yard dash times, are among those anticipated to be the fastest running backs.