We continue today to preview another of the top running backs available in the upcoming NFL draft – or selection meeting as it is officially known. The powerful SEC Conference’s number three ranked back, Mike Davis, is our focus today.
Packers Prospect Profile: Mike Davis, RB South Carolina
Player information: 5’ 9”, 217 lbs., Junior
Hometown: Lithonia, GA
NFL Combine Stats
40 Yard Dash: 4.61 seconds, tied for 11th among running backs
Vertical Jump: 34”, tied for 12th among running backs.
Broad Jump: 116”, tied for 19th among running backs.
225# Bench: 17, tied for 20th among running backs.
Compares to pros: Alfred Morris, Ray Rice
Projected Draft Position: Rounds 4 – 5.
Strengths: Tough Runner with soft hands and a reliable pass receiver from the backfield. A change of pace back with solid credentials. Known for his powerful frame and the combination of burst, agility and power could handle starting duties in the NFL if called upon. Davis accelerates through the hole quickly and has enough straight-line speed to gain yardage in when his number was called, with five runs over the past two seasons of 40+ yards. He also shows patience to allow openings to develop, as well as the vision to accelerate through zone block cut-back lanes. His running style features good lateral movement, an effective hesitation and quality spin moves along with the determination to keep his legs grinding through would-be tacklers.
Weaknesses: Davis lacks the size and breakaway speed to project as a star lead back in the NFL. Smallish frame. Has dealt with a variety of minor injuries throughout his career. A nagging rib injury really affected his junior season which was not nearly as strong as his sophomore year. A willing but unremarkable pass blocker which will need refinement at the next level. Has had occasional ball security issues in his brief SC career. Only adequate speed.
Mike Davis has been clocked at 4.55 second 40 yard dash. Davis averaged 5.8 yards per carry on the year with 1,183 yards and 11 touchdowns. Davis endured an injury plagued season in 2014 causing him to miss multiple games and that could be a red flag to potential NFL employers. Based on ability and past accomplishments Davis would seem to be a solid mid-round pick, but his injury issues may cause his draft position to fall to rounds 5-7 or even a free agent.
What they are saying about him: “Not the same guy (in 2014). I think he had a rib injury early, but that’s not what bothers me. You look at (former SC Players) Alshon’s conditioning, Clowney’s last year and now Davis? He’s got talent, but he can’t just half-step and think he’s going to make our league.” — NFC South scout
“RB Mike Davis of S. Carolina is solidly built, with good feet, is an underrated pass catcher. He gets lost in convos, but I’m enjoying his tape.” — NFL Analyst Charles Davis
What the Packers See: Shared SEC attention with Todd Gurley (GA) and TJ Yeldon (AL), so tough to get much recognition in his conference much less nationally. A James Franklin-like back but not as decorated. Would be an effective change-of-pace back to workhorses Eddie Lacy and James Starks. Ability to be three down back and potential future starter, but not a sure thing. Not shifty enough to be thought of as a primary kickoff or punter return man – an area of need for Green Bay. If he slips far enough to become a cheaper alternative to other similarly skilled backs he may become attractive enough for the Packers.——————
Jeff Albrecht grew up just north of Green Bay and was lucky enough to attend some of the Lombardi Era classic games, like the 1962 championship and the Ice Bowl. Jeff went on to play HS football in the Green Bay area and College ball at UW - Stevens Point. Jeff is retired but still does some writing for his local paper. Jeff is a writer with AllGreenBayPackers.com and you can follow him on twitter at @pointerjeff .