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Vikings Blockers Christian Darrisaw & Wyatt Davis Begin Building Bond

The Vikings took a left (as in tackle) and a right (as in guard) with two of their first four picks of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Christian Darrisaw was picked out of Virginia Tech in the first round, and Wyatt Davis was selected in the third.

Darrisaw excelled at the blindside spot for the Hokies, becoming a true freshman starter in 2018 and peaking as a First-Team All-ACC selection as a junior in 2020.

Davis in 2020 became the first guard in Buckeyes history to win the Big Ten's Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year award and repeated his selection as a First-Team All-American from 2019.

They took their first steps on the field as Vikings teammates Friday when Minnesota held the first walk-through of rookie minicamp that was followed by a practice amidst mist.

The blockers' bonding began before either even checked in at the Omni Viking Lakes hotel or reported to Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

"We talked as soon as he got drafted," Darrisaw said during a virtual media session. "He hit me up, and we exchanged numbers and everything so we could start building that bond and relationship.

"Now finally being here, our rooms are right next to each other in the hotel, so we kind of can hang out and just help each other with anything we need in the playbook, as far as me being a tackle and him being a guard – we work together on the different calls and everything," Darrisaw added. "So it's been pretty cool getting to know him better and working with him."

Davis said Darrisaw is a "great guy."

"I look for us to become closer, being rookies together," Davis said. "He's very nice, and we've been hanging out these past couple days since we got here and I'm looking forward to building that relationship down the line."

There's much that can happen between now and Week 1 of the regular season when the Vikings visit the Bengals, but Darrisaw and Davis are quite likely to join forces with other recent draft picks RT Brian O'Neill, C Garrett Bradbury and Ezra Cleveland, who started nine games at right guard in 2020 after playing collegiately at left tackle.

Cleveland could be primed for a shift to left guard if the Vikings like what Davis does at right guard, but the Vikings also acquired veteran Mason Cole this offseason in a trade. General Manager Rick Spielman has brought up Cole in more than one interview.

During Friday's session, Darrisaw and Davis were two of five available offensive linemen. Blake Brandel, a sixth-round pick in 2020, played center after spending last season on Minnesota's practice squad. Brandon Kennedy lined up at left guard, and Evin Ksiezarczyk lined up at right tackle. Kennedy and Ksiezarczyk were invited on a tryout basis.

Five of Minnesota's 11 draft picks, including Darrisaw, have signed their contracts, the team announced Friday.

"It feels great, for sure. It comes from a lot of hard work and everything," Darrisaw said. "Just getting that out of your way, it feels like a relief off your shoulders, but you've got to worry about just going through the rest of these months. It feels great."

There will be quite some time before full pads go on at training camp, but Darrisaw and Davis can focus on sharpening techniques, learning the playbook, strengthening their connection and enjoying the realization of their long-held NFL dreams.