Is Scotty Miller faster than Tyreek Hill? The numbers say not so fast
The call Scotty Miller got on draft day from the Buccaneers included six notable words, according to the Chicago Tribune: “We have a need for speed.”
So even in NFL circles, Miller is viewed as fast and was thought of that way before he’d even played a professional snap. But Miller’s most recent speed-related claim didn’t involve just any NFL player as the comparison — he was discussing Tyreek Hill.
On “The Dan Patrick Show” 11 days before Super Bowl 55, Miller was asked if he could beat Hill in a race. The Tampa Bay wide receiver, of course, picked himself.”I’m taking me, every day of the week,” Miller said. “I’ll take me over anybody. Tyreek is unbelievable, super quick, unbelievable talent. But if we’re talking about a race, I mean, I’ve got all the confidence in myself going up against anybody.”Patrick Mahomes disagreed.”That’s an interesting take,” Mahomes said. “You’ve got to have confidence in yourself, though. I’ll give [Miller] that … He is a fast dude. He is a great receiver, but I like my guy.”While that sounds like a decent idea for a Super Bowl halftime show (sorry The Weeknd) — with Hill saying, “Maybe we can do something at halftime, line it up” — it’s unlikely a one-on-one race will take place between Miller and Hill anytime soon. Thankfully, it’s 2021 and there’s plenty of data out there about sprint speed and on-field speed. It’s easy to play detective on this mystery.MORE: Who is Scotty Miller? Meet Tom Brady’s new Julian Edelman with the BuccaneersIs Scotty Miller faster than Tyreek Hill?There isn’t a single publicly available number that suggests Miller is faster than Hill. Miller is faster than most NFL players, but Hill is faster than even more.Neither receiver ran at the NFL Combine, but both burned it up during their respective pro days. At Bowling Green, Miller ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash. But Hill’s was faster at West Alabama, coming in at 4.29 seconds. How about once they get pads on? Hill wins again. The NFL’s Next Gen Stats database has tracked ball-carrier speed since 2016. That first year, a rookie Hill recorded what is still the fastest time with the ball in his hands at 23.24 miles per hour. Miller and Hill both have shown off their speed during the 2021 postseason, too, but again Hill wins that battle, with a high-speed of 20.76 miles per hour compared to Miller’s top of 20.64 miles per hour. Hill also had a regular-season top speed of 21.91 miles per hour in the regular season, higher than anything Miller recorded.So if a race between Miller and Hill took place on paper, there’s nothing to suggest that Miller would win, despite his self-belief.MORE: How fast is Tyreek Hill? ‘The Cheetah’ lives up to 40 time, Next Gen Stats speed with ChiefsTyreek Hill thinks he could lose a raceThere’s only one reason to think Hill might lose a race to Miller. Earlier this season, Hill told TMZ that he’s “done retired from racing.”Hill’s statement came in the context of Lamar Jackson, not Miller. But Hill admitted at the time that Jackson would “probably get me right now,” and on the Monday before the Super Bowl, he said, “I don’t know” as to whether Miller is faster than him.
Conveniently, Jackson also ran fast during the 2021 playoffs. His top speed of 20.64 miles per hour as a ball carrier is equal to Miller’s top speed of the playoffs. So if Hill thinks Jackson would beat him in a race, maybe Miller could, too.Our money’s still on the man they call “The Cheetah.”Fastest players in NFL playoffs 2021Since it’s been referenced multiple times, here’s a list of the 10-fastest ball-carrier speeds recorded by Next Gen Stats this postseason. All speeds below are from the first three playoff rounds before the Super Bowl.Top 10 fastest NFL players in 2021 playoffs (mph)Player
Top speed (mph)
26-yard kickoff return
54-yard punt return
39-yard receiving TD
48-yard rushing TD
42-yard interception return TD
101-yard interception return TD