But after Davis played through a knee injury his senior year, the Minnesota Vikings seemingly got a draft steal, selecting Davis No. 85 overall in the third round of the 2021 draft. He was assumed to become a mainstay at guard, a position Minnesota hadn’t seen a returning starter two years in a row since 2016.
That wasn’t the case.
Davis never saw a regular-season offensive snap his rookie year and failed to impress the new regime this offseason, leading to his release on August 30.
Davis landed on the New York Giants practice squad momentarily but was recently poached by one of the Vikings’ biggest rivals.
Saints Sign Wyatt Davis to Practice Squad
“The #Saints are signing G Wyatt Davis off the #Giants practice squad to their active roster,” Rapoport tweeted. “The former #Vikings third-round pick has a new home.”
With two interior offensive linemen on injured reserve and starting center Erik McCoy limited in practice on Wednesday, the Saints are likely to deploy Davis on special teams and may need to rely on him to join the starting line if another injury were to hit the group.
Davis is due for a reunion with the Vikings in Week 4 on October 2 in London.
Vikings Projected to Have Best O-Line Since 2017
While Davis failing to seize a starting guard spot was disappointing, fellow 2021 draftee Christian Darrisaw is the biggest reason for optimism with Minnesota’s offensive line this season.
PFF lead draft analyst Mike Renner published his preseason offensive line rankings on June 13 and ranked the Vikings 19th in the league — the highest preseason ranking Minnesota has had since ranking 14th ahead of the 2017 season.
While there are still concerns in the offensive interior, Darrisaw bookending the offensive line with Brian O’Neill has raised the floor of the offensive front.
“Darrisaw got off to a late start to his rookie year due to a preseason injury. He ended up playing in 11 games and posted a 71.8 PFF grade over that span, ranking 20th of 39 qualifying left tackles,” PFF’s Anthony Treash wrote at the regular season’s conclusion in January. “The first-round pick’s run-blocking stood out in particular — Darrisaw posted a 77.2 grade in that facet. Not only is that the sixth-best among left tackles for the 2021 season, but it’s also the fourth-best by a rookie at the position in the last decade. Needless to say, the future looks promising for the Virginia Tech product.”
Second-round rookie Ed Ingram is also offering optimism after he beat out veteran Jesse Davis for the starting right guard spot. J. Davis was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers following a strong preseason showing from Ingram.