Wed, 16 Jun 2021

5 Things to Know About New Vikings TE Zach Davidson

Minnesota Vikings
14 May 2021, 04:37 GMT+10

Lindsey Young

EAGAN, Minn. - "The more you can do," the saying goes.

Well, Vikings fifth-round draft pick Zach Davidson was drafted as a tight end and brings plenty to the table at that position, but it's worth noting he also served as Central Missouri's punter for three seasons.

According to Davidson, he first became a team's primary punter as a sophomore in high school.

"It just kind of grew into my niche in high school since we were a limited offense," he told Twin Cities media members after being drafted. "I was a vertical-threat tight end in high school but tall and scrawny, so I stayed in my lane punting, and it ultimately got me to the Division II [level] in college."

So while it's possible that he could be a backup specialist in an emergency situation, the Vikings are focused on Davidson's potential at tight end.

"We see the vision. We see that you can't get an athletic kid with this size, this speed, this athletic ability and the catching radius that he does have - those are the traits that you can't coach," Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said. "But adding on strength, technique as a blocker, all that stuff will come."

Here are five things to know about the Vikings new tight end:

1. Last played in 2019

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Missouri football team did not play in 2020.

Davidson earned plenty of attention at tight end during the 2019 season, though. He played 13 games (12 starts) and recorded 40 catches for 894 yards (22.4 average) and 15 touchdowns. His touchdowns total tied for seventh-most among D-II players.

That season, he tied a Mules single-game record with four touchdown receptions in a win over Missouri Southern.

2. Hails from Missouri

Davidson grew up in Webb City, Missouri, about 155 miles southwest of his college campus.

He initially was a backup tight end on Webb City's junior varsity team but became the varsity squad's punter after the Cardinals regular punter was suspended. Davidson received All-State honors as a junior and a senior.

Former Minnesota Gophers Head Football Coach Jerry Kill coached at Webb City from 1988-90.

3. Dog dad

Davidson is the proud owner of a Cockapoo named Archie, who made his presence known during Davidson's video call with media.

According to Davidson's Instagram account, Archie is a fan of Christmas and also playground slides.

4. One of three

Davidson was one of just three D-II players who were selected during the 2021 NFL Draft. For those keeping track at home, that's just about one percent of the total draft selections.

Davidson was the highest-drafted, selected 168th overall by Minnesota. Next was Charleston receiver Mike Strachan, whom the Colts tabbed with the 229th overall pick, and Concordia-Saint Paul linebacker Chris Garrett, picked 252nd overall by the Rams.

5. 'True leader'

CBS Sports Jason La Canfora delved into Davidson's story leading into the draft.

La Canfora highlighted Davidson's unlikely journey to the NFL, his punting success and his work to bulk up in order to play tight end. He also spoke with Mules Head Coach Jim Svoboda, who said the following;

"In our offense, with what we run, this kid wasn't going to have great stats," Svoboda told La Canfora. "He only caught a handful of balls in his career, but he is a helluva athlete. ... And he hasn't been afraid to be an out-in-front guy for us. He's a true leader, and he's always willing to do the work."

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