Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots

Is Tyreek Hill legitimately the NFL’s fastest man?

Tyreek Hill is one of the NFL’s most explosive players, but Devin McCourty has given him a literal run for his money on pure measured speed.

Advanced data as it relates to player movement allows us to know exactly how fast players move or run or how much ground they’re covering, with the universal measure of miles per hour where applicable. Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill was clocked at 21.95 MPH on this touchdown back in Week 1, which was not too surprising since he’s one of the NFL’s most explosive offensive players.

But Hill has now been surpassed on the list of NFL’s fastest ball carriers for this year. On a game-clinching (or fantasy football win-clinching, for some people) 84-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills last Monday night, New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty reached 22.05 MPH (via Next Gen Stats). He has now been passed himself, by Minnesota Vikings running  back Dalvin Cook’s 70-yard run in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions, but just barely as Cook clocked in at 22.07 MPH.

Here’s a look at McCourty’s pick-six.

McCourty is in his ninth NFL season at 31 years old, but he put his speed on display when he nearly chasing down Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt a few weeks ago and he posted a 4.38 40 -yard dash at the 2010 NFL Combine. Age and/or wear and tear clearly has not diminished his speed too much.

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Hill will surely put another entry toward the top of the list of the NFL’s fastest ball carriers of the year before the 2018 campaign is in the books. But for now he has been surpassed, and beyond saying “wow he was moving fast” there’s a tangible number for how fast McCourty was going on his pick-six in Week 8.

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