The final three pieces of last year's Stefon Diggs trade were collected Saturday when the Vikings drafted a safety, an edge rusher and a tight end who was too scrawny to play the position in high school and whose only ticket to college came as a Division II punter.
We'll tie a bow on the Diggs trade in a moment. First, let's take a peek at that tight end, Zach Davidson, the most unusual Purple pick since General Manager Rick Spielman took Moritz Wilhelm Bohringer of the German Football League in the sixth round in 2016.
Davidson, chosen in the fifth round with the 168th overall pick, went to Webb City High, a longtime Missouri state football power just outside Joplin, before landing at Central Missouri.
"I'd say I was underdeveloped in high school," said Davidson, who went from 6-5, 190 pounds as a sophomore to his current 6-7, 245 pounds. "I still am filling out."
Davidson was playing junior varsity his sophomore year when legend has it some of the varsity kids got suspended for smashing mailboxes. The varsity suddenly found itself in need of a punter and Davidson's booming leg won the ensuing tryout.
"Punter came naturally," said Davidson, who also calls himself a "mediocre" long snapper and "OK" holder.
He kept the punting job as a junior at Webb City and added backup tight end in a run-oriented offense to his résumé as a senior.
"I stayed in my lane punting and it ultimately got me to Division II," Davidson said.
Actually, it got him to the Vikings in a roundabout way.
Besides averaging 42.4 yards per punt with 56% of his attempts downed inside the 20, Davidson also filled out as a tight end. In 2019, he caught 40 passes with a school-record 15 touchdowns while making Division II All-America at tight end and punter.
The pandemic canceled the D-II season, but NFL scouts were already hooked on Davidson as a Day 3 prospect who has all the pass-catching tools, the 4.6 speed and the long frame to grow into a sturdy blocker. The Vikings drafted him solely as a tight end, although Davidson said punting is something "I'll always have in my back pocket" as he tries to stick in the NFL.
Now, back to closing the book on the Diggs trade.
The final three picks linked to that trade included two fourth-rounders (Nos. 125 and 134) and the fifth-rounder used on Davidson.
The 134th overall pick of the fourth round — used on Florida State edge rusher Janarius Robinson — came directly from the Bills. The other two picks came from a pair of trades Spielman made using Buffalo's picks during last year's draft.
Spielman got the 125th overall pick in the fourth round — used on Cal defensive back Camryn Bynum — when he traded last year's 155th pick in the fifth round to Chicago. He got the 168th pick in the fifth round — used on Davidson — when he traded last year's 201st pick in the sixth round to Baltimore.
Asked if he felt he got the value he was looking for when he made those trades with Chicago and Baltimore, Spielman said, "We'll find out. I know it [moved] us earlier in this draft. And we feel we got players that have a lot of upside to develop."
So, the final tally on the Diggs trade is:
• Diggs, who led the league in receptions and yards receiving as a first-team All-Pro receiver last season.
• 2020 seventh-rounder Dane Jackson, a cornerback who had one interception in five games (one start).
To the Vikings:
• Justin Jefferson, the first-round pick who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie.
• Defensive end Kenny Willekes, a 2020 seventh-rounder who spent last year on injured reserve. The Vikings got this pick when they traded Buffalo's sixth-rounder to Baltimore.
• Bynum, who played corner at Cal but projects to safety in the NFL.
• Robinson, an inconsistent edge rusher who has all the tools that assistant coach and D-line Whisperer Andre Patterson looks for in an underachiever.
• Davidson, the former scrawny kid with one heck of a beefy story line that's definitely worth watching.