Tackle Christian Darrisaw signed his first NFL contract on Friday and then took the field for his first Vikings practice. It soon hit him that he had made the big time.
“In that huddle, hearing that play call, definitely was like, ‘OK, we’re here now,’ and now it’s go-time for real,” Darrisaw said after the first day of a three-day rookie minicamp. “In that huddle for the first time, definitely I felt that.”
Of Minnesota’s 11 draftees, Darrisaw, taken with the No. 23 pick in the first round out of Virginia Tech, was among five to sign before the start of the minicamp. The team’s other six draftees are participating after signing injury protection agreements.
Darrisaw got a four-year, $13.35 million contract and will have an option for a fifth year. He received a $7.066 million signing bonus, and will count $2.426 million on the 2021 salary cap.
“It feels great, for sure,” Darrisaw said. “It comes from a lot of hard work and everything. Just getting (the contract) 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.”
Also signing were fourth-round pick Camryn Bynum, fifth-round selections Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Zach Davidson and sixth-round pick Jalyn Twyman. The latter three agreed to terms Thursday.
Bynum, a safety taken with the No. 125 pick in the fourth round out of California, got a four-year, $4.2 million deal with a $717,812 signing bonus. He will count $839,453 on the 2021 salary cap.
Smith-Marsette, a wide receiver taken No. 157 in the fifth round from Iowa, got a four-year, $3.8 million contract with a $318,960 signing bonus that has a 2021 cap number of $739,740. Davidson, a tight end selected No. 168 in the fifth round out of Central Missouri, received a four-year, $3.78 million deal with a $301,772 signing bonus that has an initial cap number of $735,443. And Twyman, a defensive tackle taken No. 199 in the sixth round from Pittsburgh, got a four-year, $3.65 million contract with a signing bonus of $174,940 that has a 2021 cap number of $703,735.
Draftees who have yet to sign are quarterback Kellen Mond, linebacker Chazz Surratt, guard Wyatt Davis and defensive end Patrick Jones II, all taken in the third round, and running back Kene Nwangwu and defensive end Janarius Robinson, both selected in the fourth round.
Davis at right guard
In his first practice, Davis lined up at right guard, the position he played at Ohio State.
“Anything can happen and change,” Davis said “I’m more (than) willing to play whatever position, wherever they see fit.”
Last year’s starting right guard as a rookie was Ezra Cleveland, who was a left tackle at Boise State, but Cleveland could be a candidate to move to left guard. If that happens, Minnesota’s offensive line starters could be Darrisaw at left tackle, Cleveland at left guard, Garrett Bradbury at center, Davis at right guard and Brian O’Neill at right tackle.
Davis said a knee injury that bothered him last year didn’t require surgery and he’s at “100 percent.” And he discussed former Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields having been drafted by NFC North rival Chicago.
“It’s going to be more of a love-hate deal,” Davis said.
Advice for Zylstra
Tight end Shane Zylstra, signed last week as a free agent out of Minnesota State Mankato, has been getting plenty of advice from his brother. Brandon Zylstra, who played for the Vikings in 2018 and is now with Carolina.
“He’s someone I can lean on, who I can trust, that I can bounce any question off of,” Shane Zylstra said. “He’s just telling me to relax, stay calm.”
Shane Zylstra was issued No. 82, which was worn by tight end Kyle Rudolph until he was released in March after 10 seasons with Minnesota.
The Vikings have 31 players on the minicamp roster, although undrafted free-agent receiver Myron Mitchell sat out Friday due to an injury.
Three roster players were on the 2020 practice squad: quarterbacks Jake Browning and Nate Stanley, and guard Blake Brandel.
The Vikings were allowed to invite five tryout players. On hand were North Dakota State cornerback Marquise Bridges, who played at DeLaSalle High School, Wake Forest cornerback Amari Henderson, Southern Mississippi safety Ky’ei Hemby, Buffalo tackle Evin Ksiezarczyk and Tennessee center Brandon Kennedy.