Fri, 07 May 2021

Vikings Select Ohio State Guard Wyatt Davis with 86th Overall Pick

Minnesota Vikings
01 May 2021, 21:37 GMT+10

Eric Smith

EAGAN, Minn. - Hey look, the Vikings added a guard up front.

But all jokes aside, Minnesota appears to have added a really good one, too, as the Vikings tabbed Ohio State's Wyatt Davis Friday night with the 86th overall pick in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Davis is the second offensive lineman the Vikings have selected in this draft, joining first-round pick Christian Darrisaw, a left tackle out of Virginia Tech who made an impressive climb..

"I'm extremely excited," Davis said. "With Christian [being picked in Round 1], he's a great player.

"I can't wait just to get to work and be able to mesh with all the guys, all my teammates," Davis added. "I can't wait to meet everyone."

Davis was a two-time All-American for the Buckeyes who played in 50 career games with 24 starts.

He started all eight games at right guard in 2020, earning unanimous All-American honors and was the 2020 Big Ten Conference Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year.

And while Davis played on the right side at Ohio State, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said he could fit in at either guard spot along the line.

"It doesn't matter where they line up, the left side or the right side," Spielman said. "Coaches don't think it's a big issue. They can line up on either side.

"He's going to be a guy who's going to come in here and he's going to have to compete," Spielman added. "Mason Cole, who we traded a sixth-round pick for early in this process, we signed Dakota Dozier back, so we're going to have a lot of competition up front."

Davis concurred that he has plenty of position flexibility.

"I can play any position on the offensive line," Davis said. "I am more than willing to flip sides or do anything I can to help the team. Playing a different position or different side is not a problem for me at all."

Davis also brings a strong pedigree and plenty of experience to the Vikings.

He is the grandson of Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Davis, who passed away in April 2020. Willie Davis played two seasons for the Browns before being traded to Green Bay, where he didn't miss a game in 10 seasons from 1960-1969. He later became a member of the Packers Board of Directors.

"I know that my grandfather, he's looking down upon me right now and smiling," Davis said. "Now it's up to me to uphold the legacy that he built for my family.

"Now that I have this opportunity, I definitely will be making the most out of it, not only making my family proud, but more importantly making my teammates proud moving on in the future," Davis added. "Everyone in my family is ecstatic, everyone's screaming and yelling still right now, and I know my grandad's screaming and yelling from up above."

Davis, a redshirt junior who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds, brings strength and size to the Vikings offensive line.

He also has a familiarity with Minnesota's offensive scheme. Davis said Friday that he chatted via video with Vikings offensive line coach Rick Dennison this spring to get a feel for the Vikings offense.

"I feel like I'm going to fit perfectly into that," Davis said. "A lot of the scheme that the Vikings run - which I learned in the meeting I had with [Dennison] - is the same type of scheme that we ran up at Ohio State, especially with the outside zone type of stuff. I feel like that's an area that I can excel in and look to make an impact in moving forward."

If Davis can do just that, he could be among the candidates for a starting guard spot in 2021.

And with two of their first four picks going toward the offensive line, it's clear Spielman and the Vikings have placed an emphasis on the trenches so far in the draft.

"That's what we needed to do. We needed to get better up front," Spielman said. "You're going to see a very competitive group when we get down to our 53."

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