The Carolina Panthers invited Texas Southern defensive end Michael Badejo to its 2022 Panthers training camp, per source. Badejo said he expects to participate and compete for a role on defense or special teams.
"It feels amazing!" Badejo said. "Definitely ready to showcase my skills."
Badejo was considered one of the top HBCU defensive players eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft. He had a Pro Day at Texas Southern and worked out for the Houston Texans.
In March, the SMU transfer told me he had a productive Pro Day, which contributed to the outpouring of interest. At 6-2 and 262-pounds, the Arlington native torched the track to 4.8 seconds in the 40. He showed his strength and agility with 19 reps, 33 inches vertical, a nine-foot broad jump, and 4.59 seconds in the shuttle drill.
The TSU star also had a tryout with the CFL Calgary Stampeders. He fielded calls from several NFL teams like the Colts, Seahawks, and Jets.
After going undrafted, Badejo continued preparing for a rookie minicamp shot. He received an offer to try out at the XFL HBCU Showcase hosted by Jackson State on July 16.
The Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, and Chicago Bears have invited Badejo to work out before training camps start in August.
The defensive end becomes the first Texas Southern player in the NFL since cornerback Tray Walker was drafted in the fourth round by the Baltimore Ravens. Unfortunately, Walker died of severe head trauma after a motorcycle accident in March 2016.
Badejo said, "he's willing to play special teams and anything they want me to do" in the NFL.