Two Kinds Of Speed
Shortly after Usain Bolt completed his 'double triple' at the 2012 Olympics, American footballers began to suggest that they could beat the world's fastest man ever at 40 meters.
Yes, arrogance and ignorance combine for ridiculous utterances.
But now the NFL has a new 'fastest man' in New England Patriot Jeff Demps, who signed this week after winning a silver medal in London. He ran on the qualifying round U.S. 4x100-meter relay team, which would earn a silver medal behind… Bolt and his Jamaican mates. With Demps in the lineup, the Americans broke the national record in the first round and then crushed it in the final.
But the question about Demps — who was an exciting tailback for the Florida Gators — is how does he stack up in NFL speed history?
Thanks to Jesse Squire, a Toledo teacher known as the Track Super Fan, we have an answer. Demps is as fast as anyone to ever play in the NFL, at least for 100 meters. Of course, we'd like to see Bob Hayes, in his prime, with today's equipment and surfaces.
Here are the top 10 auto times in NFL history. Note that we aren't including Cliff Branch's 10.0 hand time from 1972.
Ford's 10.01 came in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Championships … The only player to run 10.10 or faster who was not a wide receiver was Washington Redskins Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green … The fastest 200m dash ever by an NFL player? Michael Bates, who was a running back for five teams, clocked 20.01 at the 1992 Olympic Trials … The fastest 400m dash? Rod Jones, a former cornerback for Tampa Bay and Cincinnati, once ran 44.94 at the 1984 Southwest Conference Championships … Of course, former 110m hurdles world record holder Renaldo Nehemiah, who ran 12.93 in 1981, later played for the San Francisco 49ers.