Minnesota Vikings: Fourth-round OL Dru Samia an underrated gem

Minnesota Vikings fourth-round selection Dru Samia can make an immediate impact up front.

The Minnesota Vikings are one of the most purely talented teams in the entire NFL. They have done a great job of building this team with impact talent on both sides of the ball and could quickly become a legitimate Super Bowl contender with a lucky break or two.

That being said, the offensive line stands out as an obvious area of concern for this team. The Vikings struggled to protect quarterback Kirk Cousins last season and were not able to consistently open up holes in the running game. The offensive line stood out as their top need entering the 2019 NFL Draft and the Vikings did a nice job of addressing the position.

The selection of Garrett Bradbury in the first round will obviously help. Bradbury is the best interior offensive lineman in this draft class and should immediately solidify the center position for the Minnesota Vikings. That being said, Bradbury was not the only impact offensive lineman that the Vikings took. In this post, we are going to focus on Dru Samia out of Oklahoma.

The Vikings made Samia a priority, trading up to draft him in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He was fantastic value in that range and was one of my favorite selections for any team in the middle rounds.

Samia started his career at right tackle, before making the final 38 starts of his college career at right guard. The Vikings will likely use him on the interior at the next level, but having that kind of versatility is certainly valuable.

Samia is an athletic offensive lineman who gets out of his stance and into position quickly. He moves extremely well in space, understands second-level angles and does a great job of walling off defenders away from ball carriers. Simply put, he is an ideal zone-blocking offensive lineman who should excel in the Vikings’ zone-heavy offense.

He also shows tremendous aggressiveness and toughness in the run game, consistently keeping his feet moving and looking for work through the whistle.

Samia’s obvious quickness and athleticism obviously come in handy in pass protection as well. He moves extremely well laterally, showing ideal mirror ability against all defenders. He does lack an ideal anchor, losing against pure power at times, but he does show a solid ability to recover.

Samia is a tough player who is never afraid to mix it up on the inside. However, he does need to get stronger if he is truly going to reach his full potential at the next level. He simply lacks the ideal core strength to move big defensive tackles off of their spot and will lose to more powerful players in the passing game at times. His hand placement is also spotty both in the run game and as a pass protector.

He is not a perfect prospect, but Dru Samia was a tremendous value for the Minnesota Vikings in the middle of the fourth round. He undoubtedly has the ability to come in and make an immediate impact for this team and I would not be surprised to see him as a day one starter at one of the guard positions.

Next: Way-too-early 2020 NFL Mock Draft

The Vikings’ offensive line is not fixed, but bringing Bradbury and Samia into the mix is certainly a step in the right directions. For those picks alone, the Minnesota Vikings should be happy with their haul from the 2019 NFL Draft.

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