NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Dru Samia had been studying up on Minnesota, and that’s where he ended up on Saturday.
The Vikings added more depth to the offensive line with the selection of the Oklahoma guard in the fourth round of the NFL draft. Samia had been told by his agent before the draft that the Vikings really liked him.
“Throughout this entire process, I was kind of thinking, ‘Minnesota’s probably going to be the spot,”’ Samia said. “I didn’t know anything about Minnesota to begin with. I was like, ‘Where is Minneapolis?”‘
Samia went with the No. 114 overall selection, a pick that originally belonged to Seattle. To get the pick, the Vikings traded the No. 120 selection in the fourth round and the No. 204 pick in the sixth round.
In the fifth round Saturday, the Vikings took USC inside linebacker Cameron Smith with the No. 162 overall pick.
In the sixth round, they selected Arkansas defensive tackle Armon Watts at 190, Wyoming safety Marcus Epps at No. 191 and Elon tackle Olisaemka Udoh at No. 193.
In the seventh round, the Vikings selected Texas cornerback Kris Boyd at No. 217, Oregon wide receiver Dillon Mitchell at No. 239, Colorado State receiver Olabisi Johnson at No. 247 and Air Force long snapper Austin Cutting at No. 250.
Samia is very athletic. He played on a talented offensive line that protected Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Kyler Murray, who went to Arizona with the No. 1 pick in the draft. Four of those offensive linemen were taken in the first four rounds of the draft.
Samia played right guard the past two seasons the past two seasons after being a right tackle the two before that. He said he “probably 100 percent” will be a guard with the Vikings.
“It’s been a long process, but I’m very happy to be a Minnesota Viking,” Samia said. “I’m very excited to join this franchise and take this offensive line where it needs to be, and I’m excited to get back on the field.”
Minnesota previously selected in the draft offensive lineman Garrett Bradbury in the first round, tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round and running back Alexander Mattison in the third. This draft has marked the first time since 1965 that the Vikings’ first four selections all were on offense.
Smith is not regarded as a great athlete. He’s considered a reliable run defender who might come out on third downs.
“I’m just excited to be here. It’s an honor to be a part of the Vikings,” Smith said. “It’s been a long weekend but I can’t wipe the smile off my face. I’m just excited and can’t wait to get there.’’
Smith believes having played in a similar defensive scheme at USC will help him.
“I just feel like it was meant to be,” he said of going to the Vikings.
Two picks after Minnesota took Samia, Tennessee selected Iowa safety Amani Hooker, who attended Park Center High School in Minneapolis, with the No. 116 pick in the fourth round.
With the No. 143 pick in the fifth round, the New York Giants took Wisconsin linebacker Ryan Connelly, who played at Eden Prairie High School.