The NFL All-Speed Team

Ryan Braun@@rycotaincAnalyst IAugust 13, 2011

The NFL All-Speed Team

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    Speed kills, and the guys on this list will be appearing in the sixth season of Dexter/are at the top of Al Davis’ fantasy draft board/are physically incapable of satisfying a woman.

    They’re that fast.

    The team I’ve constructed includes the requisite skill players at every position (no O or interior D-lineman) and was compiled not solely on the back of statistics, but also via the "eye test." (Basically, although 40 times are noted, it also takes into consideration functional speed).

    Is the All-Speed team any good?

    Read on to find out.

QB – Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

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    40 time: 4.33 seconds 

    The most gifted player I’ve ever laid eyes on is now also one of the more efficient.

    He’s not quite the guy who did these things anymore, but he’s still the most athletic quarterback in the league and he still has perhaps its strongest arm.

    He’s also the quarterback of my all-speed team.

    Keep contain.

RB- Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans

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    40 time: 4.24 seconds 

    Chris Johnson is not my favorite guy on this list, but I’m a responsible pseudo-talent evaluator…and he is one fast dude.

    CJ posted one of the top combine 40’s ever, and has taken the NFL by storm since entering the league in 2008.

    Is he the best back in the world?

    Probably not.

    Is he the fastest?

    Yeah…yeah, he is.

RB- Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

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    40 time: 4.40 seconds 

    There’s a large part of me (though perhaps not the one you’re thinking—AP is good looking, but not that good looking…) that thinks Adrian Peterson should be the top back listed.

    Sure, he timed a bit slower than Chris Johnson (and Reggie Bush, and Jamaal Charles…), but he both dwarfs him (them) physically and he plays like a 4.1 guy.

    That said, the number don’t always lie, and I suspect in a vacuum, CJ is most speedy.

    Regardless, Adrian is getting some carries.

WR – DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles

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    40 time: 4.27 seconds 

    As of 2011, DeSean Jackson is probably the most electric guy on my team.

    He changes direction at top speed incomprehensibly well, and his acceleration is off the charts—both far more valuable tools than straight-line speed.

    I pray for this guy to stay healthy.

    He’s so fun to watch/my only No. 1 receiver.

WR – Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    40 time: 4.28 seconds

    This one hurts.

    I’m a Browns fan, and my dad and I have been whining to each other for two years re: how guys like Mike always fall to the Steelers.

    Truth be told, I think it’s just that they had a role for him. They didn’t need him as a No 1 right away.

    Playing behind established wideouts, Mike Wallace as a rookie was able to use his semi-inhuman speed to get behind more defenses than a Republican budget plan.

    Worse yet (for me the Browns fan, not me the fictitious general manager), he’s developing as a receiver.

    Such in life in the cellar of the AFC North.

WR – Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders

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    40 time: 4.30 seconds 

    Think Al Davis has a draft strategy?

    The Raiders did Darrius no favors by taking him 7th overall in 2009.

    He’s an NFL talent to be sure, but he’s not a transcendent one. Heyward-Bey is still learning the nuances of the position three years in, and my guess is that he hits his stride with his second team.

    On my team, he’s in the slot, free to feast off the attention DeSean will take away from him.

    DeSean and this next guy…

TE- Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers

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    40 time: 4.38 seconds 

    Vernon Davis in 2006 posted what I’d have to assume is the fastest 40 time ever for a 254-pound man.

    It took him a while to get up to speed in the NFL, but now he’s one of the elite TEs in the entire league, and he’ll be even better with a professional-caliber quarterback throwing him the ball.

DE – Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis Colts

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    40 time: 4.48 seconds 

    Dwight Freeney changed the game.

    Despite posting the blazing 4.48 at the combine (and hitting 4.40 flat before the draft), Freeney slipped to the 11th pick on fears he was too small to be effective in the NFL.

    94 sacks later, everyone is looking for 260-pound ends who can run.

DE – DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys

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    40 time: 4.54 seconds

    At 6-4, 251, he’s a little slight (and by a little, I mean 40 pounds) to be my LE, but taking speed into account in a misguided attempt to live up to our namesake, I force DeMarcus on my coach (Al Davis, who sold the Raiders for the opportunity to be involved with this team).

    We could’ve used the size and overall athleticism of, say, Julius Peppers, but at this point in their careers, DeMarcus is faster to the ball.

    (Also just missing the cut was the 4.55 of John Abraham.)

OLB – Von Miller, Denver Broncos

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    40 time: 4.42 seconds 

    Why the hullabaloo surrounding the second pick in the draft?

    The guy is big-league fast, the only real concern with him being can he hold up at just around 240-pounds.

    I hope so.

    I’m not drafting backups.

MLB – Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers

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    40 time: 4.51 seconds 

    This is the guy charged with holding down our defense (literally the whole of it; I think every other guy would blow away in a stiff wind).

    Patrick Willis is an ox, a (probably the rare “underlisting” on, I think he's heavier...) 240-pound middle linebacker who is quite possibly the top defensive player in the entire league.

    And just in case that 4.51 combine time wasn’t quite enough to get your attention, he went ahead and clocked a 4.37 at his pro-day.

    Thank you Patrick Willis, for being fast.

OLB – Dontay Moch, OLB, Cincinnati Bengals

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    40 time: 4.40 seconds 

    Thank you, Dontay Moch? Not so much.

    Here’s where things get a little dicey for my team: my second OLB—Moch—and as we’ll soon be looking at, my second corner.

    It’s not that these guys can’t play; it’s just that they’re small. I’m building a team ripe to be overpowered.

    Also, because Dontay Moch is a legitimate step faster, I feel obligated to take him over more proven fare like Terrell Suggs and Thomas Davis—both better football players and both fast...but neither quite as fast.

    Oh well, if we lose at least I’ll know we can get out of the stadium at hyper-speed.

    (Side note: Moch reportedly cracked 4.2 in a workout at Nevada. Which is both as fast as Deion Sanders and legitimately insane. I’ll have to see it to believe it, but just in case…wow.)

CB – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Philadelphia Eagles

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    40 time: 4.29 seconds 

    Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie:

    “Just as fast as his cousin, but with far less children.”

    I’m an aspiring publicist.

CB – DeMarcus Van Dyke, Oakland Raiders

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    40 time: 4.28 seconds

    And again, here’s where you can hurt me—by throwing at my second corner.

    DVD is big-league speedy (that 4.28 is up there with the fastest times in combine history), but he’s slight and not exactly as skilled as he is fleet of foot.

    That said, every team needs some levity, and maybe DeMarcus can provide it.

FS – Nick Collins, Strong Safety

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    40 time: 4.36 seconds 

    Okay, I’m satisfied with one of my safeties…with the other one, I feel like I’m leaving something on the table.

    Collins is the one I like—a talented playmaker out of Bethune-Cookman (one of the only football schools in America who’s name should belong to an 80-year-old Jewish woman) who posted a 4.36 at the combine.

    He’s a three-time Pro Bowl selection, and will need to hold down the entirety of my backfield because Taylor Mays ran a 4.31 at the combine.

SS –Taylor Mays, San Francisco 49ers (for Now)

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    40 time: 4.31 seconds 

    Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu, Eric Berry, and T.J. Ward (again, Browns fan), and I’m stuck with Taylor Mays.

    Maybe he just needs a change of scenery...but I suspect that isn't the case.

    Even at USC, Taylor was known more for his physical attributes than his play. At 6-3, 230 with legitimate 4.3 speed (which, to be fair, is astonishing), Mays looks like Tarzan…but he plays like Jane.

    Nevertheless, he’s my SS until one of the other general managers responds to my email.