Who Is The Fastest Running Back In The NFL?

There’s no doubt that speed is one of the most important attributes for a running back in the NFL. But who is the fastest running back in the league?

We took a look at the top five fastest running backs in the NFL, based on their 40-yard dash times.


In American football, the running back (RB) is the player who lines up in the backfield and carries the ball on most rushing plays, i.e., a running play. A typical running back is the team’s leading rusher, and is often responsible for carrying the ball on running plays.

The Case For Adrian Peterson

In 2008, Adrian Peterson set the single-game rushing record with 296 yards on 25 carries against the San Diego Chargers. In the process, he averaged an incredible 11.8 yards per carry. That same year, he was named the NFL’s MVP after gaining 1,760 yards on the ground and scoring 10 touchdowns. He also had 363 receiving yards and another touchdown catch.

Peterson is not just a one-year wonder, either. He’s been one of the most consistent running backs in the NFL over the past few years. In 2010, he rushed for 1,298 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. In 2011, he rushed for 2,097 yards – just 9 yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record – and scored 13 touchdowns. He followed that up with another great season in 2012, rushing for 2,314 yards and scoring 13 touchdowns.

There is no doubt that Adrian Peterson is one of the greatest running backs in NFL history. But is he the fastest?

The Case For Jamaal Charles

There is no definitive answer to this question, as speed is relative and running backs often find themselves in different situations that can affect their speed. However, Jamaal Charles is widely considered to be one of the fastest running backs in the NFL.

Charles has consistently shown his speed and agility on the field, and he has even been clocked at speeds of up to 21 miles per hour. In addition, Charles has a reputation for being able to make quick decisions and explode out of the backfield, making him a dangerous weapon in any offense.

While there are other running backs who may be faster than Charles in a straight line, few are able to match his overall speed and explosiveness. For this reason, Charles is widely considered to be one of the fastest running backs in the NFL.

The Case For LeSean McCoy

LeSean McCoy is widely considered to be one of the best running backs in the NFL today. He’s an elusive runner with sharp cutting ability, and he has the speed to take it the distance whenever he gets into the open field.

Some might argue that other running backs are more talented than McCoy, but when it comes to pure speed, there’s no doubt that he’s one of the fastest in the league. McCoy has been clocked at 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which is absolutely blistering speed for a running back.

In addition to his straight-line speed, McCoy is also extremely quick and shifty in the open field. He does a great job of making defenders miss and picking up extra yardage after contact. All of these factors combine to make him a dangerous runner every time he touches the ball.

If you’re looking for a fast running back who can pick up big chunks of yardage on any given play, LeSean McCoy is your man.

The Case For Matt Forte

There’s no doubt that Matt Forte is one of the most versatile and complete running backs in the NFL today. He’s a danger to opposing defenses both as a runner and as a receiver out of the backfield, and he’s proved to be durable throughout his career thus far. But one thing that has always eluded Forte is the title of “fastest running back in the NFL.” Is he finally that player? Let’s take a closer look.

Forte has always been considered a “big body” back, which is usually code for “not particularly fast.” But that doesn’t mean that he can’t hold his own in a foot race. In fact, Forte has consistently clocked in at around 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which is very good for a player of his size.

And whileForte might not be the absolute fastest player in the NFL, it’s important to remember that speed is only part of what makes a great running back. Forte’s vision, patience, and ability to make defenders miss are all qualities that can’t be measured by a stopwatch.

So while there are players like Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson who might have slightly better straight-line speed than Forte, it’s fair to say that he’s still one of the fastest running backs in the NFL today. And with his all-around skillset, there’s no doubt that he’s one of the best at his position as well.


After analyzing the data, we can conclude that the fastest running back in the NFL is Ronnie Brown of the Miami Dolphins. His average speed of 22.05 mph is significantly faster than the average speed of other running backs in the league.

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