Saturday, April 27, 2019

Vikings select Oklahoma guard Dru Samia in the fourth-round

Photo: Sooner Athletics 

The Vikings added more offensive line depth by moving up for Oklahoma guard Dru Samia.

The Vikings moved up six spots in the fourth round to add more offensive line depth. Oklahoma guard Dru Samia is an offensive lineman who can compete for playing time within the interior. He joins first-round draft pick Garrett Bradbury as the second offensive lineman in Minnesota’s 2019 class.

Samia will have a rather smooth transition into the Vikings zone blocking scheme after working within one of the top zone-blocking schemes in the country. With his movement skills and ability to move in space, he was told by many NFL coaches he fit well in a zone blocking system.

“I’m very comfortable. I felt like at Oklahoma we ran a pretty versatile offense, so whether I went to a team with power or zone, I felt like I was going to be a good fit,” Samia said after the selection. “With all of the NFL coaches that I was talking to, they said that I was more of a zone scheme guy, so I’ll just trust the NFL expertise. So I’m ready to get into this scheme and get things going.”

Samia’s time under offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has helped him refine the technical components of the game. During the entire draft process, Minnesota has been prioritizing players that have backgrounds with those concepts. Bedenbaugh is one of the best offensive line coaches in college football, so the Vikings will be getting a player with developed technique.

“I can’t even put into words everything [Bedenbaugh] has done for me and all the o-linemen at Oklahoma. He took a group of kids who had talent, they had work ethic, but he was the one who really cultivated that,” Samia said. “He taught us how to play the game properly, taught us how to study the game properly, so I owe so much to Coach B. He was a huge reason for why I’m here right now.”

Samia played in 52 games and started 48 during his career with the Sooners. He really stood out in pass protection and didn’t allow a sack last season during 440 pass-blocking snaps in 2018, according to Pro Football Focus. This trend was consistent during his four-year career with the Sooners. In two of his four years at Oklahoma, Samia didn’t allow a single sack. Despite his success in this area, there is still a clear area the young offensive lineman would like to improve.

“I feel like I need to improve my body control, I feel like that was one knock on my game that was pretty fair throughout the entire draft,” Samia said. “Whenever someone said that, I was like, ok, that’s a fair assessment. I’ve been working on it, trying to get my ability down, it’s coming long.”

Samia also finished in the 77th percentile in the bench press (MockDraftable), putting up 28 reps at the Scouting Combine. He moves really well and flashes all of his quickness, which aligns well with the type of prospect Minnesota is valuing in their new offensive system. He also has the versatility to play right tackle and started 13 games at the position during his college career. With the Vikings, he will likely stay inside, but his versatility could certainly be an asset.

“It was just early on in my career they needed a tackle and then later on they needed a guard, so I feel like I can play anywhere. You know obviously have to adjust at the beginning playing a new position,” Samia said. “[The Vikings] definitely said the interior of the offensive line and I would guess with them drafting Bradbury, it’s probably 100 percent going to be guard, so whichever one they need me at.”

In his lone full season at right tackle, Samia surrendered just one sack and two quarterback hits, according to PFF. With his versatility, movement skills and above average strength testing, he checks all the boxes for a player that can fit in a Gary Kubiak influenced blocking scheme. From the beginning, Samia thought Minnesota could be a landing spot, especially considering all the interest they showed during the draft process.

“The conversations were always good with the Vikings in particular. I always got a good vibe with them. My agent was always telling me that the Vikings were really high on me,” Samia said. “Throughout this entire process, I was always kind of thinking like, man, Minnesota is probably going to be a spot.”

After seeing Minnesota’s interest, he even started planning in case the Twin Cities area became his new home.

“I was even looking up things like -- I mean I didn’t know anything about Minnesota to begin with -- so I was like, man, where is Minneapolis? How much does it cost to live there?” Samia said. “Stuff like that, so I’ve been planning to be in Minneapolis for a long time, but I’m very excited that it came to a head.”

1 comment:

  1. love this pick, samia is talented and has a nasty disposition.