Former Atlanta Falcons star quarterback Michael Vick was the first of his kind. While he possessed elite arm strength at the flick of the wrist, what Vick’s game was mainly built on was his speed. Vick could do things in the ground game unforeseen from the quarterback position prior to him entering the league, and quite honestly not again until Lamar Jackson in recent years.
Yet, how fast was Vick truly? Was he the fastest player to ever take an NFL football field? And how does his 40-yard dash time rank amongst the elite speed demons of today’s NFL? Let’s take a look.
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Michael Vick’s Speed & 40-Yard Dash Time
Yet, in Bleacher Report’s Top-25 Fastest Players in NFL History, they claim Vick registered a 4.25 40-yard dash at the combine.
While there are differing accounts of the exact time Vick ran at the combine, there is more of a consensus when it comes to how he performed at his Pro Day prior to the 2001 NFL Draft. Vick is believed to have run a 4.33 40-yard dash at Virginia Tech’s pre-draft event. There are records of Vick being timed as low as a 4.25, which aligns with Bleacher Reports’ time for the former Pro Bowl quarterback.
How Michael Vick’s Speed Compares to the Stars of Today
Vick, who went on record just a few years ago stating he could beat Cam Newton in a race, did not see his speed dwindle much throughout his NFL career. At the ripe age of 32, he reportedly smoked then 24-year old Eagles teammate LeSean McCoy in a 40-yard race. Although McCoy proclaims Vick jumped the gun.
If we base Vick’s 40-time solely on the Pro Football Reference time of 4.33 that would still rank him amongst the elite talents in today’s NFL. For instance, Julio Jones ran a 4.39 at his scouting combine. Odell Beckham Jr. recorded a 4.41 40-yard dash time at the 2014 combine.
However, if you look at Vick’s speed as the 4.25 40-yard time listed above, things get drastically different. Vick’s 4.25 forty would rank third all-time in the history of the NFL combine, sitting behind only CJ2K aka Chris Johnson and John Ross, currently of the Cincinnati Bengals.
While we’ve come to the conclusion that Vick was extremely fast, the real question is, how does this type of speed compare to the modern-day NFL? Specifically, players such as Kyler Murray, and mainly, Lamar Jackson.
Both Murray and Jackson opted to not run the 40-yard dash at their scouting combines. However, each has lofty expectations of what they would have run, had they partaken.
Here’s what Murray told Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News when asked when the last time he ran the 40 was.
“I haven’t run a 40 in like two, three years. I ran a 4.3.”
Jackson believes his speed would fall in a similar spot, something he proclaimed after opting out of the 40-yard dash at the combine, mainly due to teams wanting him to play other positions rather than quarterback.
“I would’ve run a 4.3,” Jackson said.
Michael Vick Passes the Torch to Lamar Jackson
Arguably Vick’s biggest claim to fame is his Bo Jackson Tecmo Bowl-Esque dominance in the 2004 version of EA Sports Madden Football. Vick’s 95-speed rating that season made him virtually unstoppable, and essentially a folk lord in the video game’s history for years to come.
However, this past season Vick played a major part in passing the torch the next wave of mobile quarterbacks.
Vick actually served as an honorary Madden rating adjuster at one of Jackson’s games in 2019, one in which Vick evidently left impressed. The following day Vick announced via Madden’s Instagram page that Jackson would be surpassing his once all-time 95-speed with a 96-speed rating in the next weekly roster update.
Now, is Jackson actually faster than Vick was in his prime? We’ll never actually know, but it’s one race we would surely have loved to see.
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