Since the start of 2021, five quarterbacks have tallied more than 1,000 rushing yards during the regular season. Three of them will be in action during the NFL divisional round this weekend. Two will clash in a head-to-head matchup.
Quarterbacks like Josh Allen, Daniel Jones and Jalen Hurts have helped re-shape how people evaluate the position in recent years. They, along with 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson, have flashed both the standout arm talent needed to play quarterback in this era of gaudy passing numbers and shown the mobility that makes them a thorn in the side of defenses.
Not all of these quarterbacks have the same running style. Of the five quarterbacks with 1,000-plus rushing yards over the past two years, only two have a 40 time below 4.5 seconds. Neither quarterback — Justin Fields or Lamar Jackson — is playing in the divisional round. Two of the quarterbacks are even above the 4.7 mark.
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Where do these divisional-round quarterbacks rank among the fastest in the league? And who are the fastest QBs in the NFL today? The Sporting News is breaking down several of the key stats to know about which signal-callers might be the league’s fastest.
Fastest quarterbacks in the NFL
There are a few ways to look at quarterback speed. The default for most is 40-yard dash time.
Not everyone ran a 40 at the combine, but there are still 40 times for each quarterback. Jackson didn’t run at the combine, but at Louisville’s speed day back in 2017, he clocked in at 4.34, which makes him the fastest among active quarterbacks. According to Stathead, Fields, who ran a 4.45 in the 2021 NFL Combine, has the fourth-fastest official combine 40 time since 2000 and leads all active QBs.
The eye test would also affirm that the fastest quarterback in the NFL would likely be between those two. But there is another way of looking at speed as well. NFL’s Next Gen Stats tracks top 20 speeds for ball carriers each week of the season. Since the start of the 2021 season, Fields has appeared on the top 20 list 15 times. Jackson is tied for the fourth-most with two appearances. Hurts is second on the list at six appearances and Kyler Murray is third with five.
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Of the recorded times from Next Gen Stats, Fields has the quickest time for any quarterback recorded at 21.23 mph over those two years. He has averaged 20.21 mph on his 15 listed runs. Jackson has maxed out at 20.48 mph since the start of 2021 with an average time of 20.03 between his two runs.
What about the three aforementioned quarterbacks in the NFL playoffs? Since 2021, Hurts, Allen and Jones have each appeared on Next Gen Stats’ list at least once. Hurts has six appearances, with a max speed of 20.5 mph and an average speed of 20.1 mph. Allen has two appearances, with a max of 20.31 mph and 20.095 mph average. Jones has also appeared twice and has a max speed of 20.07 and average speed of 19.865.
Top 10 fastest QB plays in 2022
Next Gen Stats tracks the fastest speeds from a ball-carrier each week during the season, including the playoffs. This isn’t all encompassing — some weeks, 20.5 mph might crack the top 20; some weeks, it might not.
But there is still plenty of useful information to be gleaned from the data Next Gen Stats has compiled. Here’s a look at the fastest plays by quarterbacks logged during the 2022 season:
|Player||Team||Top Speed (mph)||Week||Play Event|
|Justin Fields||Bears||21.23||8||6-yard rush*|
|Marcus Mariota||Falcons||20.76||9||5-yard rush|
|Justin Fields||Bears||20.72||9||17-yard rush TD|
|Jalen Hurts||Eagles||20.5||1||16-yard rush|
|Lamar Jackson||Ravens||20.48||2||79-yard rush TD|
|Justin Fields||Bears||20.41||10||28-yard rush|
|Justin Fields||Bears||20.39||17||60-yard rush|
|Justin Fields||Bears||20.33||9||61-yard rush TD|
|Josh Allen||Bills||20.31||8||10-yard rush|
|Marcus Mariota||Falcons||20.17||3||2-yard rush|
*Play was erased on a penalty
Fields dominated the 2022 list. He recorded half of the fastest times this season. If that play that was pulled back because of a penalty was erased from the list, Fields would actually account for more than half of the top 10 because he had two plays tied at 20.15 mph that would move up into the list — a 67-yard touchdown run in Week 10 and a 55-yard touchdown in Week 13.
Marcus Mariota has a pair of appearances, and Hurts, Jackson and Allen round out the list with one each. Daniel Jones’ fastest recorded time of 2022 came in Week 16, when he reached 19.66 mph on an 8-yard carry.
Fastest QB 40 times
Quarterback 40 times are rarely impressive. Even the fastest quarterbacks in the NFL would post pedestrian 40 times relative to other ball-carriers like running backs, receivers and defensive backs.
Jackson’s 4.34 would, however, be an exception to that, as plenty of other skills players would gladly take a 4.34 40 time. The two fastest 40 times recorded by Stathead from a quarterback are tied between Robert Griffin III and Michael Vick at 4.33.
Here’s a look at the fastest active quarterbacks in the NFL, based on times recorded at the NFL combine per Stathead:
|Player||Draft Year||40 time|
There are likely not any surprises on this list. All of those quarterbacks have shown efficiency with their legs when they’ve had the chance to play, though several of them are backup QBs.
What about the starting quarterbacks in the 2022 divisional round? The rankings also should hold few surprises.
Jalen Hurts 40 time
Hurts checks in with a 40 time of 4.59 seconds. He has the fastest 40 time of any starting quarterback remaining in the NFL playoffs, which makes sense. Only Fields (1,563) has more rushing yards than Hurts (1,544) over the past two seasons.
Josh Allen 40 time
Allen has the second-fastest 40 time at 4.75 seconds. He might be one of the most dangerous quarterbacks on the move, but that is more for his physicality rather than his elusiveness and speed. He has 1,525 rushing yards since the start of 2021.
Trevor Lawrence 40 time
Lawrence did not run the 40 at the NFL combine, but he has been clocked at an unofficial 4.78, which would rank him third. Lawrence has not been a major threat on the ground the way Hurts and Allen have, but he still ranks eighth among NFL quarterbacks with 625 rushing yards since 2021.
Dak Prescott 40 time
Prescott ranks fourth and comes in just behind Lawrence with a time of 4.79 in the 40. Despite nearly rushing for 1,000 yards in 2014 at Mississippi State, Prescott has not used his legs nearly as often in the NFL as a vertical weapon, with only 328 rushing yards since 2021.
Patrick Mahomes 40 time
Mahomes comes in fifth with a 40 time of 4.8. Many might think of Mahomes for his scrambling ability to buy time and make ridiculous throws downfield, but he has also racked up plenty of yards over the past two years, ranking seventh with 739 rushing yards in that span.
Daniel Jones 40 time
Jones comes in at sixth among quarterbacks with a 40 time of 4.81. His ranking might be the most surprising given that he has the fifth-most rushing yards since 2021 at 1,006, but he is also similar to Allen with a physical style of running, standing at 6-5, 221.
Brock Purdy 40 time
Purdy ranks seventh with a 40 time of 4.84. Thrown into the fray earlier this season, Mr. Irrelevant hasn’t used his legs at all in 2022, having rushed for only 13 yards on 22 carries during the regular season, though he had 16 yards on four runs against the Seahawks.
Joe Burrow 40 time
Burrow did not run the 40 at the 2020 NFL Combine, but he does have an unofficial time of 4.9, which ranks him last on this list. Burrow almost never has designed runs, but he still ranks 15th since 2021 with 375 yards as he has proven to be an effective scrambler when plays break down.
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