KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Even by NFL wide receiver standards, Sammy Watkins of the Kansas City Chiefs is fast. Watkins ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine when he was coming out for the draft in 2014.
But Watkins admitted to being in awe when watching teammate and fellow wide receiver Tyreek Hill run.
"I'm fast," Watkins said. "But he's superfast."
Opponents have consistently found Hill's speed difficult to defend in the season's first two games. Hill is averaging almost 22 yards for every one of his 12 catches, and he has four touchdowns, one on a 91-yard punt return.
Hill has helped the Chiefs to 80 points, most in the NFL. Outside of the play of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Hill is the biggest reason the Chiefs are 2-0 heading into Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers.
"He's one of the fastest human beings I've ever seen line up in a pair of cleats," said Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, a former NFL player and longtime assistant coach. "There's only been a few of them that I've looked back and said, 'Wow,' one being Deion Sanders. Rocket Ismail.
"When you have a player that has that unique gift to take the top off everything, yes, it does lighten the load for a lot of different people."
Hill's nickname for himself is "Cheetah," and he refers to his open-field swiftness as "Cheetah speed." He has the two fastest ball carrier speeds this season, according to the NFL's Next Gen stats. He was clocked at 21.95 mph on his 58-yard touchdown catch against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1 and at 21.78 mph on his 91-yard punt return in the same game.
"I feel I've made my name in the NFL as being one of the fastest players, but right now, I'm focusing on being one of the best at my craft," Hill said.
"I want to be the best receiver now."
Hill spent a month during the offseason in Nebraska working with former Cornhuskers receivers coach Keith Williams on his route running, and Hill believes it was time well spent.
"He taught me about the game, how it's played, how to be a complete receiver," Hill said. "I listened and I learned. I'm a quick learner."
If he's not the NFL's best receiver, Hill belongs in the discussion. His speed is only one reason. His knowledge of how to use it is another.
"Tyreek is probably -- not probably, he is -- the fastest guy that's been in this league for a while," Watkins said. "He definitely has unique speed. You hear everybody raving about it, but to see it in person and how he utilizes it is special. There are guys with speed that don't know how to use it. He knows how to use it. He uses it to get in and out of breaks, to set up defensive backs. There aren't too many guys that are fast and can play ball. But he's one of those guys.
"The majority of guys I've been around that have been fast are not as good. You have to learn how to control your speed."
An example of how Hill makes his speed work for him happened on a 34-yard pass that he caught against the Chargers. Hill appeared to be running a post pattern and his defender turned to run with him.
As soon as he turned and was facing the middle of the field, Hill broke to the sideline, where he was wide open for the catch.
"Tyreek runs different than any other human being," Watkins said. "I'm a long-stride, power guy. But Tyreek runs with shorter strides. I've never seen anyone run like Tyreek and be fast at doing it that way. Sometimes I sit there and say, 'What the heck is that?' It's like he's some type of another being."