Shortly after he was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Oklahoma offensive lineman Dru Samia got an opportunity to speak with the Twin Cities media via a conference call.
Here is a transcript of that call, courtesy of the Vikings Public Relations Department.
Thank you guys for having me. It’s been a long process, but I’m very happy to be a Minnesota Viking. Very excited to join this franchise and take this offensive line to where it needs to be. I’m excited to get back on the field.
Q: How much does it mean to have four Oklahoma offensive linemen get drafted already?
A: It means the world. A lot of people come in to college and are like, “We’re going to come in and we’re going to ball out and get drafted,” but it’s rare that you can have that whole group do that. We’re just blessed that we had a great coaching staff, a great culture at Oklahoma and we were able to accomplish what we wanted to.
Q: Was there any competition amongst that group as to where you all were going to go and who would draft you?
A: Yeah, we have competition all the time. Cody [Ford], he’s going to take us out for our first meal together, so it’s on Cody now.
Q: Where are you going to go eat?
A: I’m trying to pick somewhere expensive, he went high. I don’t know, we’ll see. It’s not my money.
Q: How comfortable do you feel in the zone running scheme?
A: I’m very comfortable. I felt like at Oklahoma we ran a pretty versatile offense, so whether I went to a team for power or zone, I felt like I was going to be a good fit. Of all the NFL coaches that I was talking to, they said that I was more of a zone scheme guy. I’ll just trust the NFL expertise. I am ready to get into this scheme and get things going.
Q: How much did you talk to the Vikings leading up to the draft and what were those conversations like?
A: The conversations were always good with the Vikings in particular. I always got a good vibe from them. My agent was always telling me that the Vikings were really high on me. Throughout this entire process, I was always thinking like, “Man, Minnesota is probably going to be the spot.” I was even looking up things. 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?” Stuff like that. I have been planning to be in Minneapolis for a long time. I am very excited it came to a head.
Q: Do you remember Adrian Peterson from Oklahoma playing for the Vikings?
A: Hell yeah, I do remember that.
Q: Have you ever seen his film?
A: Yeah, I’ve seen the film. They have it running on the TVs throughout Oklahoma everywhere, just trucking through people around the field.
Q: How much of an influence did Bill Bedenbaugh have on your career?
A: I can’t even put it into words everything that that man has done for me. All of the linemen from Oklahoma, he took a group of kids who had talent, who had work ethic. He was the one who really cultivated that, taught us how to play the game properly, and taught us how to study the game properly. I owe so much to Coach Bedenbaugh. He is a huge reason why I am here right now.
Q: Do you have any areas of your game you want to improve at the NFL level?
A: I feel like I need to improve on body control. I feel like that was one knock on my game that was pretty fair throughout the entire draft. Whenever someone said that, I was like, “Okay, that’s a fair assessment.” But I’ve been working on it, trying to get my stability down. It’s coming along, but once I can start playing under control, which I have, but once I start really playing under control 100 percent I feel like good things are going to happen.
Q: How much pride did you guys on the offensive line take in blocking for back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners?
A: We took pride in that every single day. Coach B [Bill Bedenbaugh], his main statement that he said to us was… I won’t say exactly what he said, he used a lot of cuss words, but he pretty much said to take pride in who you’re blocking for. Every time someone gets hit, that’s your fault. It’s up to you to defend your brothers. Your brothers are out there working their butts off every day, and you’re not going to go out there and let them get hit. We’re the protectors of the team, we were the wall, and we took incredible pride in our play.
Q: You played tackle and guard at Oklahoma. Is there one position you feel most comfortable with?
A: Not really. It was just early on in my career that they needed a tackle, and later on they needed a guard. I feel like I can play at anywhere. Obviously just kind of have to adjust at the very beginning learning a new position.
Q: Have the Vikings talked to you about which position they see you at?
A: They definitely said the interior of the offensive line, and I would guess with them drafting [Garrett] Bradbury that it’s 100 percent going to be guard. Whichever one they need me at.
Q: Are you more comfortable moving laterally or are you more of a north-south type of guy? How do you see yourself fitting in with the technique of the zone scheme?
A: I feel like I’ll fit in with the technique very well. But I don’t really have a preference as far as moving laterally or north and south. Just kind of depends on the play. Outside, inside zone, power, just whatever the set up angle is, I feel like I can move laterally or north and south.
Q: What it like to watch Kyler Murray go first overall?
A: It was awesome. There was all that hype leading up to the draft. Everybody was trying to nitpick every little thing about the guy, but we just sat back and were like, “Man, Kyler is going number one. We don’t really care about what they’re saying on TV right now.” We’re very excited for him, and we know that that dude works his butt off too. Just excited where he went where he deserves to go. He was the best player in the country.
Q: Can you confirm which high school you went to in California?
A: I graduated from River City High School in West Sacramento, but all my football was played at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville.