The Minnesota Vikings training camp roster is officially at capacity after a series of moves made on Monday.
Linebacker Chazz Surratt, guard Wyatt Davis and defensive end Patrick Jones II, all selected in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, inked four-year contracts with the team.
The Vikings also waived sixth-round rookie Jaylen Twyman as a procedural move to place him on the non-football injury list after Twyman was shot four times in Washington D.C. last month. His waiver cleared roster space to sign veteran wide receiver Dede Westbrook.
Surratt, Davis and Jones all figure to compete for starting roles this season, while Westbrook is considered a favorite for the third wide receiver on offense.
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Surratt, a Former Quarterback
Linebackers are often regarded as the quarterback of the defense. Who better to fill that role than a former quarterback?
Surratt, selected No. 78 overall out of North Carolina, was a quarterback for his first two seasons with the Tar Heels before transitioning to linebacker.
In his first season at his new position, Surratt was named the runner-up for the 2019 ACC Defensive Player of the Year award. He tallied 207 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks and two interceptions in two interceptions on the defensive side of the ball in his final two seasons of college.
“He’s playing like a man possessed, Pro Football Focus’ Mike Renner said last fall. “When he is coming downhill at you, he is not going to stop. He’s out for blood it seems like every snap.”
Surratt joins a crop of linebackers behind Pro Bowl talents Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks and could compete for the starting weakside linebacker spot.
“I saw him play live this year [against Notre Dame] at North Carolina, and I believe the first series he made, like, three or four plays in a row,” said Vikings Director of College Scouting Jamaal Stephenson, per Vikings.com. “He’s a great blitzer; you just see the speed, sideline to sideline; his instincts, for a guy who’s only played linebacker for two years, are unbelievable. We’re very excited about him and his upside and what he brings to the Vikings.”
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Davis Named Vikings’ Steal of the Draft
Last fall, Davis was considered a first-round prospect entering his final year at Ohio State — but playing through injury proved detrimental to his draft stock.
Minnesota managed to select Davis No. 86 overall, a move that Draft Wire called the team’s steal of the draft. Davis was regarded as the No. 1 guard prospect in the country out of high school and started 24 consecutive games for the Buckeyes despite dealing with a knee injury in his senior year.
Pro Football Focus projected Davis to go No. 61 overall in the second round in the draft. Here’s what the football analytics company wrote on him in their draft guide:
His blend of balance and power is exactly what you’re looking for at the guard position, and it could result in Pro Bowl-level play sooner rather than later. You almost never see him slipping off blocks and falling to the turf.
Davis joins Dru Samia and Dakota Dozier, who started last year, and Mason Cole and Oli Udoh, who are all in competition for the starting left guard spot.
Jones ‘Has the Ability to Start,’ Former Coach Says
Jones, selected No. 90 overall out of Pittsburgh, is coming off a senior season where he tallied 44 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, nine sacks and a fumble recovery. He led the ACC in sacks and ranked fifth in the nation.
Standing 6-foot-4, 262-pounds, Jones has the length and speed to make an impact on Day 1.
“I think he’s got the ability (to start as a rookie),’’ Pittsburgh defensive line coach Charlie Partridge, per the Pioneer Press. “He’s certainly got the willingness to put in additional time. He needs to weather the storm of learning the playbook… I love the combination of Pat’s speed and his power.”
Jones has plenty of competition for the starting spot opposite of Danielle Hunter in veteran Stephen Weatherly, second-year edge D.J. Wonnum and fellow rookie Janarius Robinson.
Jones has already impressed at minicamps this season.
“It’s hard not to notice Patrick Jones II’s motor at Vikings OTA’s,” Vikings.com’s Gabe Henderson tweeted. “He’s first in line for every drill and treats every single rep like it’s a game. Great qualities to have a long career in this league.”