Receiver Quartney Davis was a coveted undrafted free agent signing for the Vikings, and he will wear No. 14 as the offense tries to replace Stefon Diggs who previously had that number. Davis, speaking to Twin Cities reporters via teleconference Thursday, called the number “a great honor” and said the Vikings were among his most consistent suitors in the draft process.
That interest was mutual, according to Davis, who had previously agreed to sign with the Dallas Cowboys before the Vikings made an offer with $100,000 guaranteed.
“From the jump I wanted to be in Minnesota,” Davis said. “With them letting go Stefon Diggs and just kind of looking at their roster, there’s guys on the team that I know. So, I’ve been there to talk to some guys on the team and kind of get a feel for what the culture is like, what the atmosphere is like, what it’s like to live in Minnesota.”
Davis returned from a torn ACL his freshman year at Texas A&M in 2016 to lead the Aggies in receiving as a sophomore, but he was injured again against Mississippi State last fall.
He declared early for the draft after appearing in 11 games; he had 54 catches for 616 yards and four touchdowns. Davis said he idolized Diggs’ game as a Viking.
“My dad called me [Wednesday] and told me that they were giving me 14, I didn’t even know,” Davis said.
“That was pretty cool. I really love Stefon Diggs. I love his game. I watch him all the time, watch a lot of his route running, how he does a lot of press release and things like that. So, to be able to wear his number for Minnesota is a great honor.”
‘Destined to be’ Viking
A family tradition continued when the Vikings called Jake Lacina with an undrafted offer last weekend. Lacina became the latest in his family to work for the Vikings after his father, Corbin, played 10 NFL seasons including four in Minnesota; his brother, Nick, was a marketing intern. Lacina added his immediate family “are all huge Vikings fans.”
“My whole family is a Cretin-Derham Hall family,” Lacina said. “Augustana was the only school that offered me, and now the Vikings are the only team to call me. It’s just working out that way. So, I don’t know — it’s just destined to be that way, I guess.”
The St. Paul native was named Division II’s top center last season, receiving the Rimington Award after starting 45 games at center for Augustana. Lacina could be the second undrafted Augustana product to make the Vikings roster after fullback C.J. Ham.
The Vikings paid top dollar this year to sign undrafted cornerback Nevelle Clarke, who got $115,000 guaranteed from Minnesota after a bidding war with the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Chargers.
Clarke said he is excited to rejoin fellow Central Florida product Mike Hughes with Minnesota, but he is also pleased with the team’s commitment and his opportunity after three cornerbacks left in free agency.
“When they invest that money in you, that means they care a lot,” Clarke said. “They want to see you do something. When I got a call from Minnesota, that was kind of the best one. I’m thinking about my boy Mike Hughes out there. I go, ‘You know what, I could go to Minnesota.’ ”
The Vikings paired together many former college teammates among their 15 drafted and 12 undrafted rookies, including Baylor defensive tackle James Lynch and linebacker Blake Lynch, Boise State nose tackle David Moa and tackle Ezra Cleveland, Mississippi State defensive backs Cameron Dantzler and Brian Cole II, and Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willekes and offensive lineman Tyler Higby, an undrafted free agent.
“We were roommates all four years in college, too,” Higby said of Willekes, a seventh-round pick. “So we were pretty good friends. We talked about living together again when we’re up there.”