Vikings Employ 2 of the Fastest Players in NFL, per ‘Madden’

Thoughts on Vikings 2022 Draft Picks in Preseason Opener & Outstanding Rookie Class of 2020
Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Ty Chandler (32) carries the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders during a preseason game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

It’s Madden Week, and the Minnesota Vikings were handsomely represented to start the festivities, as Justin Jefferson netted the best possible rating in the game.

Jefferson was assigned a ’99’ score for the 2023 iteration of the popular video game, while Harrison Smith, at age 34, gained Top-7-in-the-NFL safety kudos.

Vikings Employ 2 of the Fastest Players in NFL, per ‘Madden’

And the pot sweetened Wednesday when Speed ratings danced around the internet. The Vikings showcased two players inside Madden’s Top 20 scoring system.

1. Kene Nwangwu

Madden Speed Rating = 94
NFL Ranking per Madden = 3rd

At his Pro Day in 2021, Nwangwu clocked a blistering 4.29 time in the 40-yard dash. The only item left to witness was in-game theatrics. Often, the fastest players in an NFL draft amount to nothing. So far, that ain’t Nwangwu.

Vikings Employ 2
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Kene Nwangwu (26) in action against the Dallas Cowboys during the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

He’s returned 3 kicks for touchdowns in two seasons while waiting and hoping for acclimation in the Vikings mainstream offense. To date, that has happened much; he’s touched the football 28 times in two years — or once per game. Not ideal.

But he’s faster than a pronghorn. That much is undeniable. Only Raheem Mostert (Miami Dolphins), De’Von Achane (Miami Dolphins), and Jahmyr Gibbs (Detroit Lions) were labeled faster by Madden‘s rating system.

Have the Vikings Created a Running Back Factory?
Nov 28, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Kene Nwangwu (26) carries the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports.

This offseason, Minnesota released Dalvin Cook after six years of service, so in theory, Nwangwu could be on tap for more attention in the 2023 offense. He just has to show up at training camp and in the preseason to steal attention from Alexander Mattison, rookie DeWayne McBride — and the guy below.

2. Ty Chandler

Madden Speed Rating = 93
NFL Ranking per Madden = 7th

Chandler recorded a 4.38 40-time at the 2022 NFL combine — a commendable figure but not in the ballpark of Nwangwu from 2021. Nonetheless, Madden afforded Chandler respect in its rankings, his second showing on the video game’s ‘fastest’ list.

Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; San Francisco 49ers cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields (36) tackles Minnesota Vikings running back Ty Chandler. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Chandler’s rookie season was mostly undone by injury. He broke his thumb in Week 5 versus the Chicago Bears and didn’t arrive on the field again until Week 18 at those same Bears, where he tabulated 6 carries for 20 rushing yards and a paydirt. The game turned into a garbage time festival in the 2nd Half at Soldier Field, but don’t tell that to Chandler or teammate Jalen Nailor.

Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sean Mannion (14) hands off to running back Ty Chandler (32) during the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Like Nwangwu, Chandler is vying for touches in the Vikings 2023 offense. He might be a purer running back than Nwangwu — Nwangwu’s forte is special teams — and could win the RB2 job behind Mattison accordingly. Some fringe theorists even believed Chandler could show up to training camp and the preseason and steal Mattison’s job this summer. We shall see.

Overall, Minnesota will have speed-happy options in 2023. Cook’s exit paved the way for the implementation of ‘other’ running backs in the gameplan.

And don’t tell Vikings cornerback Kalon Barnes about Madden’s little list. He’s the Vikings fastest player but wasn’t afforded an olive branch from EA Sports.

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