Signed Monday, Meet the Vikings New Players.

Signed Monday, Meet the Vikings New Players.
Tye Smith | Jesse Davis | Nate Hairston

The Minnesota Vikings welcomed three new players to the organization Monday from free agency, although one played for the team in 2021.

Before Monday, these were Minnesota’s newcomers:

  • Jordan Hicks, LB (ARI)
  • Johnny Mundt, TE (LAR)
  • Harrison Phillips, DT (BUF)
  • Austin Schlottmann, G/C (DEN)
  • Za’Darius Smith, EDGE (GB)
  • Chandon Sullivan, CB (GB)

And these are three new players.

Jesse Davis, OL (MIA)

October 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jesse Davis (77) during the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 30
2021 PFF Grade: 52.5
Career Games Played: 80
Career Starts: 72

Davis was inked to a contract worth up to $3 million, implying he will be the solution — at least per March estimation — at right guard. He’ll presumably replace Oli Udoh (and Mason Cole) on the offensive line.

Where Davis goes — Davis starts. He started all over the place on the Dolphins offensive line, with varying degrees of success. Davis entered the NFL from the University of Idaho in 2017 as an undrafted free agent. He began his career at right guard before Miami swung him over to right tackle for the last two campaigns.

If you were looking for a homerun signing to fix the Vikings longstanding offensive line woes, this one is meh or wait and see or prove it.

Davis had never tallied a grade higher than 65.0 from Pro Football Focus in a season.

Nate Hairston, CB (DEN)

May 24, 2021; Englewood, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Nate Hairston (27) during organized team activities at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 27
2021 PFF Grade: 73.3 (limited action)
Career Games Played: 59
Career Starts: 18

Anything is possible, but Hairston will likely end up as the Vikings CB4 or CB5 in 2021 if he makes the 53-man roster. His addition to the roster is a depth move in a slot-cornerback capacity, likely behind Chandon Sullivan, who was signed away from the Green Bay Packers last week.

Spending time in his career with the Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, and Denver Broncos, Hairston was drafted in the 5th Round of the 2017 NFL Draft from Temple. He saw somewhat considerable action in the NFL during his first three seasons, relegated to firm backup duty with Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell in Denver.

Hairston tallied nine tackles, four passes defended, and a 108.1 passer-rating-against in 2021.

He is not a starting solution, but the Vikings didn’t sign the man as such.

Tye Smith, CB (MIN)

Tye Smith
Aug 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Tye Smith (5) tackles Indianapolis Colts running back Deon Jackson (35) in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 28
2021 PFF Grade: 78.0 (extreme limited action)
Career Games Played: 45
Career Starts: 7

This is the guy who returned to the team after not carried over initially from the 2021 roster. He played five games for the Vikings last season — a practice squad player.

The Seattle Seahawks drafted Smith from the 5th Round of the 2015 NFL Draft, about 25 picks after Stefon Diggs joined the Vikings.

If Hairston is a CB4 or CB5, Smith should be perceived as an eventual CB5 or CB6. Smith was with the Titans for four seasons, acting primarily as a reservist corner.

He may or may not make the 2022 team.

Smith is now the sixth player with the last name Smith under contract for the Vikings. Harrison, Ihmir, Irv, T.J., Tye, and Za’Darius.

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).