Current Viking Listed as 2nd Fastest Player in NFL

Image Courtesy of | Minnesota Vikings cornerback Kalon Barnes. The defender joined Minnesota in December 2022 after release by the Miami Dolphins. Barnes entered the NFL from the 2022 NFL Draft, a pick by the Carolina Panthers.

Last December, the Minnesota Vikings grabbed cornerback Kalon Barnes from the Miami Dolphins practice squad.

In doing so, they evidently snatched the second-fastest player in the NFL.

Current Viking Listed as 2nd Fastest Player in NFL

Barnes experienced special teams action down the stretch of 2022 for the Vikings against the New York Giants (regular season game) and Chicago Bears. He was then retained by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah this offseason and will battle for a roster spot at training camp and in the preseason.

Current Viking Listed
Nov 16, 2019; Waco, TX, USA; Baylor Bears cornerback Grayland Arnold (1) and Baylor Bears cornerback Kalon Barnes (12) in action during the game between the Bears and the Sooners at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.

Meanwhile, Pro Football Network ranked the league’s fastest players this week, and Barnes made the cut — at No. 2. His 4.23 forty at the 2022 NFL Combine was the fastest by any defensive player in the event’s history.

After tabbing Miami Dolphins wideout Tyreek Hill as the fastest man in the sport, Barnes got the nod, and PFN’s Dalton Miller explained, “Baylor seems to find speed across the country for their football program. John Ross has produced the fastest 40-yard dash time in history at 4.22, but Kalon Barnes’ 4.23 was just 0.01 off of it.”

Vikings Sign One of Fastest Players in NFL History
Jun 15, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers cornerback Kalon Barnes (35) at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota employs 11 cornerbacks at the moment, and Barnes must survive the trimdown to five or six in August to make the regular season roster.

“There’s no guarantee that Barnes can maintain a spot on the Minnesota Vikings. In fact, he may not get to consistently show off his speed at the NFL level unless he returns kicks or punts, which is something he hasn’t done to this point in his college or NFL career,” Dalton added about Barnes.

Vikings Sign One of Fastest Players in NFL History
Jan 1, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baylor Bears cornerback Kalon Barnes (12) reacts to making a play against the Mississippi Rebels in the third quarter of the 2022 Sugar Bowl at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports.

During the draft process, few traits excite onlookers more than speed. Of course, the track record for ‘fastest guy in the draft’ rarely translates to automatic stardom in the pros. But the sizzle of a team adding a weapon with comic-book speed is indeed titillating. Sizzling speed is Barnes’ dance. Barnes played all four years at Baylor, tallying 3 interceptions in 35 collegiate games.

Curiously, Vikings kick returner Kene Nwangwu didn’t make the PFN list. It’s unclear if that was an oversight or a true-blue exclusion.

Aug 13, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders running back Jaret Patterson (32) carries the ball as Carolina Panthers cornerback Kalon Barnes (35) defends during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

This is the full PFN list of top NFL speedsters:

  1. Tyreek Hill (WR, MIA)
  2. Kalon Barnes (CB, MIN)
  3. Raheem Mostert (RB, MIA)
  4. Marquise Goodwin (WR, CLE)
  5. Tariq Woolen (CB, SEA)
  6. KaVontae Turpin (KR, DAL)
  7. Jalin Hyatt (WR, NYG)
  8. Christian Watson (WR, GB)
  9. Jaylen Waddle (WR, MIA)
  10. DK Metcalf (WR, SEA)

Barnes is just 24 years old.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by