It is not uncommon for some of the leading stars of the National Football League (NFL) to switch sports in their off-season and take on track and field events at a high level. Speed is an attribute that is very important in the NFL, particularly for running backs and wide receivers. Some of these players are quick enough to compete in 100m and 200m events.
Here is a look at who are the fastest players in the NFL today and some of the legends of the sport who also had impressive speed.
In week two of the NFL in 2020, San Francisco RB Raheem Mostert recorded a speed of 23.09mph against the Jets at the MetLife Stadium. He ran the ball 80 yards for a touchdown.
Mostert regularly clocks over 20mph when it comes to speed. In 2020 he had the fastest two times of the season, according to the stats provided by Next Gen, as he also hit 22.73 mph in week one against the Arizona Cardinals.
The NFL player competed in numerous track and field events when he was younger. He opted for football over athletics when he went to university. It proved to be a good move, as he has shown he is one of the leading RBs in the league.
Dolphins sign former 49ers RB Raheem Mostert, reuniting him with Mike McDaniel https://t.co/ClXJVjjqcY pic.twitter.com/XL7rnPS1nO
— South Florida Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) March 17, 2022
Mostert is now with the Dolphins, after moving to the franchise earlier this year. The AFC East team is rebuilding following what has been a few tough seasons in the league.
Miami could be one of the surprise packages in the upcoming campaign where, as of the 19th of August, they are +3300 with Betway in the Super Bowl betting.
Wide receiver John Ross showed what kind of speed he would bring to the NFL when he broke the record for the 40-yard dash at the NFL workout series in 2017. He clocked 4.22, a time which still stands today.
Reports: Giants agree to terms with WR John Ross
📰: https://t.co/VGR2q6ur7M pic.twitter.com/Y00KmLSVTH
— New York Giants (@Giants) March 16, 2021
In his five years in the NFL to date, he has scored 11 touchdowns and he has recorded 957 receiving yards. Once catching the ball from the quarterback, Ross is often able to break away from the incoming defenders. He is now playing his football with the New York Giants.
If the first-round pick from the 2017 NFL Draft hasn’t opted to pursue a professional career in football, track and field could have been an option. It would be fascinating to see the time Ross could record in one of the IAFF events on the calendar in 100 meters.
Only one player in history has won an Olympics gold medal in the men’s 100-meter event and then gone on to win the Super Bowl. That was Bob Hayes, also known as Bullet Bob, due to his electric speed.
Hayes won gold at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. He broke the world record at the time of the event. Later in the games, he claimed a second gold medal with the United States 4 x 100 meters relay team.
A year after his triumph in Japan, Hayes joined the NFL with the Cowboys. The wide receiver spent 10 years with ‘America’s Team’, winning the Super Bowl in 1972 when they defeated the Miami Dolphins 24-3.
Hayes was a very exciting player to watch in the NFL. He showed how talented he was by reaching the top of both sports and going on to enter the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Former running back Bo Jackson was an incredible athlete. He had a successful career in the NFL and MLB. Not only was he very fast, but he was also strong, which made it hard for defenders to bring him down to the ground.
Prior to becoming a professional football, Jackson was his state champion in the decathlon. He was particulate good at high jump and triple jump events. On the track, he had speed and stamina for short and long-distance running.
Jackson, who was selected first overall in the 1986 NFL Draft, scored 16 touchdowns in the league and he finished with 2,782 rushing yards. He is one of the most unique sports professionals in history due to his versatility.
It would be no surprise to see some current NFL players switch sports to track and field in the future. There are some very fast athletes in the league, and some may go on to have a lot of success on the track.