Once-Promising Viking Dropped by 4th Team in 2022

Once-Promising Viking Dropped by 4th Team in 2022
December 12, 2022; Glendale, Ariz; USA; Cardinals James Conner (6) and Wyatt Davis. © Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK.

After playing for the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, and Arizona Cardinals in the last four months, a once-promising Viking is looking for a fifth team.

The Cardinals released Wyatt Davis on Tuesday, an offensive guard selected by ex-Vikings boss Rick Spielman in the 2021 NFL Draft. Davis has played three offensive snaps this season, two with the Saints and one with the Cardinals, and evidently doesn’t possess the staying power, for now, to remain on an active NFL roster.

Dropped by 4th Team
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Exiting the 2020 season, Minnesota desperately needed to improve its right guard spot on the depth chart, and Davis was a theorized solution after the 2021 NFL Draft. But he didn’t catch on with the Mike Zimmer-led Vikings, nor did Davis stick around for too long during the switch to Kevin O’Connell’s staff.

Once-Promising Viking Dropped by 4th Team in 2022

Instead, the Vikings employ Ed Ingram, who was plucked from the 2nd Round of the 2022 NFL Draft by current general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. After Minnesota decided Ingram was the RG of the future and the Vikings signed veteran Chris Reed in free agency, Davis became expendable and didn’t make the 53-man roster in August. He then began his trek to the Giants, Saints, and Cardinals.

Wyatt Davis
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Twenty months ago, led by Spielman at the time, Minnesota traded with the New York Jets for two extra 3rd-Rounders. The Jets used the Vikings 14th overall pick to select Alijah Vera-Tucker (OG) while Spielman drafted Christian Darrisaw (LT) with the 23rd overall pick and parlayed the 3rd-Round trade capital into Davis and Kellen Mond (QB). Folks championed the trade, but it’s now evident that landing Darrisaw was the only saving grace.

Davis and Mond were released amid Vikings roster cuts at the end of the summer, along with several other rookies from Minnesota’s 2021 draft class.

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.

Questions Answered: The Diggs Ordeal, Wyatt Davis Outlook, Crickets on Barr
Wyatt Davis

With the Mike Zimmer version of the Vikings, Davis was banished to the bench — along with the aforementioned Mond — and his Vikings career was brief. And for Davis, Zimmer was apparently correct as the young offensive lineman has already developed into a journeyman-type player.

Davis played 28 special teams snaps for the Vikings in 2021 but was an absolute footnote on offense. Veteran lineman Oli Udoh ultimately won the RG job in 2021.

Back in February, Davis expressed his excitement to work with new Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell, telling the Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson, “I’m just doing everything I can to put me in a position to help my team win. Once that opportunity comes, I’m going to take it and never look back. So I’m just trying to do everything in my power right now to put me in a spot to do so.”

Davis is only 24 years old and has ample time to land on another NFL roster, probably in the offseason.

For other former Vikings, the Cardinals still employ David Blough (QB), Nate Hairston (CB, PS), Blake Lynch (LB, PS), and Nick Vigil (LB, IR).

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).