The Vikings’ draft wouldn’t be complete without a late-round (or in this case UDFA) flyer on a speedster wide receiver. This year it is WR Jeff Badet (bah-DETT), who played for both Kentucky (3 years) and later Oklahoma (1 year) in college.
There’s not too much to know about Badet, who played 3 seasons at Kentucky before switching to Oklahoma as a graduate student:
- He’s 6’, 180 lbs.
- He’s fast. Like 4.27” 40 fast. That’s what he ran at his pro day.
Based on those two things, he’d be a field-stretching deep threat for the Vikings offense from the slot WR spot. He’s definitely beat some defensive backs deep over his college career, and also was a kick returner- although he may not be better than Mike Hughes in that regard.
Badet is also not a refined receiver, and his route running needs work. Durability, given his slight build, is also a concern. He missed the 2014 season due to injury.
But, he definitely is a speedster, and if he gets behind the DBs, they’re not gonna catch him. He wasn’t super productive in college - didn’t get many targets - but he certainly has an impressive highlight reel for the ones he did catch. Last year at Oklahoma, with Baker Mayfield at QB, Badet had 27 receptions on 32 targets for 408 yards (15.1 per catch) and 3 TDs.
Looking at his tape, his QBs tended to under throw him most of the time (even Mayfield), which didn’t help, but Badet was able to make some contested catches in those situations, which is promising.
But overall, Badet will need to show improvement in his route running ability for a shot at making the team. If he can show he’s able to deal with NFL-caliber CBs and safeties, he could turn out to be a great UDFA signing. But improving route running and managing NFL DBs is a perennial task for rookie receivers, whether 1st round picks or UDFAs. A few do, most don’t. We’ll have to see if Badet can be among the former.