Undrafted free-agent wide receiver Quartney Davis didn’t know he had been assigned Stefon Diggs’ old No. 14 with the Minnesota Vikings until his father broke the news to him.
Diggs finished the last two seasons with more than 1,000 receiving yards but was traded to Buffalo in March. On Wednesday, April 29, the Vikings listed on their web site that Davis had been given his old number.
“My dad called me and told me that they were giving me 14,” Davis said Thursday on a video conference call. “I didn’t even know, so it was something, though, that was pretty cool. I really love Stefon Diggs. I love his game. I watch him all the time … So, to be able to wear his number for Minnesota is a great honor.”
Like Diggs, Davis was overlooked by many coming of college. Diggs was a fifth-round pick out of Maryland in 2015; Davis had been projected by many to be drafted out of Texas A&M but didn’t hear his name called.
“It definitely gives me more of a drive,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed. Everything doesn’t go how you want it to go. … It’s something that definitely gives me an edge and puts more chips on my shoulder than I’ve already had my entire life.”
Davis caught 45 passes for 585 yards in 2018, and 54 for 616 yards last season before forgoing his final year of college eligibility. The Vikings won a bidding war with Dallas for his services by offering a $10,000 signing bonus and guaranteeing $90,000 of contract as a rookie.
Cornerback Nevelle Clarke was the only college free agent to get more from the Vikings, a $15,000 bonus and $100,000 guaranteed.
“I agreed with the Cowboys, and when the Vikings were offering the deal, it was kind of no question,” Davis said. “I kind of knew exactly what I wanted to do from the jump because I wanted to be in Minnesota. So, it was kind of an easy decision for me.”
So why did he want to be in Minnesota?
“I was interested … with them letting go of Stefon Diggs and just kind of looking at their roster,” Davis said.
The Vikings also lost wide receiver Laquon Treadwell to free agency, although they never made an effort to retain him. They selected LSU receiver Justin Jefferson with the No. 22 overall pick in the draft, and added Miami (Fla.) receiver K.J. Osborn in the fifth round.
Minnesota also added Dan Chisena out of Penn State as an undrafted free agent. Chisena joined the Nittany Lions as a walk-on in 2015.
Chisena, who has run the 40-yard dash in 4.32 seconds, left the football team for most of his college tenure to star on the track team before returning in 2018. Last season, he had just three catches for 66 yards and played mostly on special teams, including being a gunner on the punt team.
“I could get a college scholarship for track, but I wouldn’t be allowed to play football on a track scholarship, so I ultimately made the decision to help my family financially and try to excel at one sport instead of be average at two and decided to run track for a couple years,” Chisena said. “But ever since I left football, I really missed it. … I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity (with the Vikings) and I’m going to go in and do the best I can.”
Davis also lost some football time in college, sitting out his freshman season with a torn knee ligament.
“I had never had to deal with injuries before,” Davis said. “It was hard on me just having to go an entire year without playing football. … But after I overcame (that), I had a great college career.”
Davis, who ran the 40 in 4.54 seconds at the combine, was both a slot and outside receiver at Texas A&M. He said he’s “comfortable doing both” but prefers to play on the outside.