Jeff Badet may not be a household name, but Vikings fans could soon come to know the speedy second-year receiver. Having run a blazing 4.27 second 40-yard dash back in college, Badet believes he’s the fastest man on the roster, but will speed be enough to earn him a starting gig?
Some fans have already boarded the Badet hype train, but I’m not buying his purple propaganda just yet. Before training camp last year, Jeff made a bold statement: “I know I’m the fastest guy on the Vikings.” Badet even made a point of saying he was faster than Trae Waynes, who is known as Minnesota’s fastest player and will be competing against players from around the league in a speed competition later this summer. Jeff’s claim got some attention from the press, but it didn’t get him beyond the practice squad.
Having not lived up to his self-set expectations in year one, I question the validity of Jeff’s amazing 40-yard dash time. If the time of 4.27 seconds is accurate, then he may indeed be the fastest Viking, as Waynes clocked in at 4.31 seconds. That being said, Badet’s time was recorded by Oklahoma staff back at his college pro-day, so the numbers may have been fudged to boost his draft stock. Trae did his dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, so his time carries a lot more credibility. A race between the two would be a real thrill, but declaring the “Fastest Viking” isn’t a top priority for Minnesota’s coaches.
Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski and advisor Gary Kubiak will spend the next few months searching for a third wide receiver worthy of playing alongside Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, and the competition is wide open. Diggs and Thielen used their coachability and crisp route-running to become stars in the NFL, so Badet will need more than speed to make it in the big leagues. Having tallied 1,700 yards during his college career at Kentucky, and later Oklahoma, there’s reason to believe he has talent beyond his speed.
Stephen Johnson with the touchdown strike to Jeff Badet (2016) pic.twitter.com/WUmw5P05Sw
— KY Clips (@KY_Clips) October 27, 2018
The Vikings certainly think Badet has a chance to make the roster, as they gave him $75,000 to stay in Minnesota and away from the interested New York Jets. I like his potential, but it remains to be seen if he can run away from the competition.
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