This week was rabid for the Minnesota Vikings 2021 draft class as new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah ixnayed most of Rick Spielman’s picks for 53-man roster finalization.
All told, Zach Davidson, Kellen Mond, Janarius Robinson, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Chazz Surratt, and Jaylen Twyman were waived. Some found spots on the Vikings practice squad, while others hit the waiver wire and joined new NFL teams.
Wyatt Davis was another 2021 draft casualty, and he latched onto the New York Giants on Thursday.
The Vikings 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 was the fruit of a Spielman trade with the New York Jets on draft night. When picks materialized, the trade looked like this:
Alijah Vera-Tucker (OG)
Noah Gray (TE)
Brandin Echols (CB)
Christian Darrisaw (LT)
Kellen Mond (QB)
Wyatt Davis (RG)
Now, of course, Darrisaw is the last man standing, as Davis and Mond were waived earlier this week. Mond attached to the Cleveland Browns QB room as a — you guessed it — raw developmental quarterback while Davis joined Brian Daboll’s Giants.
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.
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 believe an unpolished gem could be on the roster.
Now, though, his polish must occur courtesy of Daboll and friends. New York has three guards on roster — Jack Anderson, Joshua Ezeudu, Mark Glowinski — and one of the worst offensive lines in the business. In that regard, Davis could actually experience some playing time. We shall see.
With the Giants, Davis joins former Vikings co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson, Harrison Hand (CB), and Nate Meadors (S).
Davis turns 24 in February.
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 Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).