What We Know about Wyatt Davis

Well, It Seems an Ex-Viking Gets a Shot at Revenge in London
Mar 3, 2021; Columbus, OH, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard Wyatt Davis (51). Mandatory Credit: Joshua A. Bickel/Columbus Dispatch-USA TODAY NETWORK

Wyatt Davis was one of the top interior offensive linemen in the 2021 NFL draft, yet he did not see the field in his rookie season. The reasons are unknown.

College Career

The consensus five-star recruit, coming out of St. John Bosco High School in California, received more than 25 scholarship offers. Davis decided to attend Ohio State over the likes of Alabama, Florida, and Michigan. As a High School senior, he was named Los Angeles Times Southern California Player of the Year. 

The young offensive guard redshirted his freshman year but played two big games at the end of the season: The Big 10 Championship Game and the Rose Bowl. He earned a PFF grade of 60.8 and allowed just one sack in the 113 pass-blocking snaps against top competition. 
In his first full season, Davis became a superstar. Playing in 14 games, the guard did not allow a single sack or quarterback hit. His PFF grade of 82.6 was elite. Consensus All-American and first-team All-Big-Ten honors were the logical consequences. 

Wyatt Davis
May 26, 2021; Eagan, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jake Browning (3) and offensive lineman Wyatt Davis (51) in drills at OTA at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

As a result of the Big-Ten postponing the 2020 season, Davis opted out but returned when the conference reversed the decision. The offensive lineman played the season with a nagging knee injury and, therefore, could not play at the same level as in 2019. He still finished the season with a PFF grade of 66.3 and allowed three sacks and one QB hit. The sacks were a result of stunts, not one-on-one pass-blocking reps. Davis was named unanimous first-team All-American. Four sacks allowed on 865 career pass-blocking snaps are impressive numbers.

Following the 2020 season, the Ohio State player declared for the NFL draft and was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the third round of the 2021 NFL draft. 

High Praise In The Draft Process

“Don’t be too worried about Davis’ grade dip from 2019 to 2020; he’s still an elite prospect at the position. His three sacks and one hit allowed all came on a blitz or stunt pickups, as Davis is still a dominant force in pass protection one-on-one. 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. While he played only right guard for the Buckeyes, center isn’t out of the question with how talented he is.”

PFF, Wyatt Davis draft profile

NFL Career

In his rookie year, Wyatt Davis did not play a single snap on offense for unknown reasons. It’s hard to imagine a player of his pedigree cannot beat out the subsequently starting and struggling guard Oli Udoh. In other words, it’s hard to imagine a unanimous first-team All-American is worse than one of the worst starters in the NFL. It’s possible but just doesn’t sound likely.

Nope. Vikings Won't Make Week 18 about the Rookies.
Wyatt Davis

A different thought process is that he was out of shape after missing time in training camp. Another way to look at it is that it can be hard for some rookies to get the mental aspects of the game right and fully understand the play calls and blocking schemes. 

Future Outlook

Wyatt Davis is excited about the regime change and hopes to get a chance to see the field with the new coaching staff in place. Head Coach Mike Zimmer, Offensive Coordinator Klint Kubiak, and Offensive Line Coach Phil Rauscher were all replaced. Davis hopes to get his opportunity in training camp and the preseason to show what he can do.

Meanwhile, the former Buckeye is working hard in the off-season to make the best of his new chance, as he is working with offensive line guru Duke Manyweather. Like PFF predicted, Davis took some reps at center in last year’s training camp.

Maybe he is an option not just to replace Oli Udoh and newly signed Jesse Davis at guard but to replace Garrett Bradbury at center. Hopefully, he can prove the fans right and starts to be a contributor in the 2022 season and moving forward.