ST. PAUL -- Within a few seconds of watching Vikings rookie offensive guard Dru Samia compete, it's easy to tell he has a mean streak to rival some of the baddest dudes in the NFL.
"Maybe one of the toughest competitors we've seen on tape with how he finishes," general manager Rick Spielman said of the 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive lineman. "He has a few technical flaws to clean up. We think that is correctable with coaching."
Drafted in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on April 26, Samia said a mean streak is a prerequisite for an offensive line at any level.
Where does his come from?
"Well, I have like a million reasons to be mad at any given moment, so I just pick one of them," Samia said. "You definitely need to be mad because (linemen) are the ones that make contact every single play."
Pressed for what makes him angry, Samia demurred.
"You guys don't get to know that," he said. "That’s my little secret."
It has worked wonders so far. Samia started four seasons at Oklahoma and was named a second-team All-American last season after blocking for the No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Kyler Murray.
"He fits the zone scheme very well," Spielman said of Samia. "He was the highest-rated player on our board at the time, and we were going to stay true to our board, and continue to add to that competition on the offensive line."
Competition should be fierce, particularly among guards on the current roster. Aside from Samia, the Vikings brought in veteran Josh Kline, as well as journeyman Dakota Dozier, this offseason.
"I want to be able to contribute to the team as fast as possible," Samia said. "If that means starts right away, then awesome. If that means being the best teammate and best supporting guy that I can, then that’s what I’m going to do."
Make no mistake, though, Samia intends on starting at some point this season.
"I am an athletic offensive lineman," he said while acknowledging that his 5.29-second 40-yard dash time might suggest otherwise. "I think my athleticism and my ability to move in space definitely helps out in this zone scheme."
Athletic ability was not Samia's major concern coming out of college; he mostly wanted to work on his size and strength, and has added nearly 15 pounds over the past few months.
"It still looks good though, right?" Samia said with a smile. "I wanted to show them that I’ve been hitting the weight room and getting a little bit bigger for this game."
It paid off for Samia in the early stages of rookie camp last week; head coach Mike Zimmer noticed his weight gain right away.
"He looked huge to me today," Zimmer said. "Just looks bigger than he did on tape. You get some of those kind of things sometimes."
How big does Samia want to get?
"Honestly, I think 310 pounds is feeling good right now," he said. "As far as I can push it without feeling fat, I’ll definitely be doing that."
And staying mad every step of the way.
The Vikings added Stacy Keely, a 6-6, 220-pound defensive lineman from Alabama-Birmingham, to the roster on Wednesday, May 8. He participated in last weekend's rookie camp as a tryout.