Sometimes NFL general managers and draft pundits really nail a collegiate class. But the process isn’t an exact science.
One recent Minnesota Vikings example of the latter is Wyatt Davis, a once-promising offensive guard from Ohio State. And after failing to catch on with Minnesota, Davis was waived by the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday.
The Vikings selected Davis in the 3rd Round of the 2021 NFL Draft, fruit of a trade by former bossman Rick Spielman with the New York Jets. Spielman sent the pick that ultimately netted Alijah Vera-Tucker to the Jets for Christian Darrisaw, Kellen Mond, and Davis to the Vikings.
Mond and Davis no longer play for the Vikings.
Minnesota had high hopes — well, at least Spielman did — for Davis in April of 2021. He was a theoretical solution to Minnesota’s unsolvable malady at right guard. Drafted in the 3rd Round, Davis could’ve “gone either way” per collegiate performance. He went the wrong way.
In the aftermath of the Jets swap, Vikings fans celebrated as expectations were high for Darrisaw — he hasn’t disappointed — Mond was a development QB1 prospect, and the franchise received a draft “steal” in Davis. But he wasn’t a steal — and he felt more like a “rogue” pick from Spielman because the Vikings 2021 coaching staff refused to play him despite otherwise poor teamwide RG performance.
Then, as the 2022 season approached, with Spielman no longer in charge, the Vikings released Davis altogether. Davis trekked to the New York Giants for a brief stint, wound up in New Orleans, and was now scrapped by the Saints.
During the buildup to the 2021 NFL Draft, at least early in the cycle, some nominated Davis as a 1st-Round talent. In 2019 and 2020, Davis earned 1st-Team All-Big Ten honors and was one of the best collegiate guards in the world. That’s why Vikings enthusiasts believed an unpolished gem could be on the roster.
During the Vikings life after Davis, rookie Ed Ingram emerged to take “Davis’ job.” So far, Ingram has played like a true-blue rookie, looking the part of a starter at times while struggling in spots. Overall, though, Minnesota’s coaching staff trusted Ingram over Davis and veteran Chris Reed.
Davis played two offensive snaps for the Saints. He’ll hit the NFL’s waiver wire and then hit free agency or be re-signed by the Saints to the practice squad.
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 Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).