On Friday, March 30, Bethune-Cookman held their annual pro day. Maybe some of you are simultaneously yawning and thinking at this very moment, 'Here we go again. Why in the world does he keep trying to convince us that we should pay attention to some low-level prospect from a bottom-feeding subdivision like the FCS?'. I'll be the first to admit that some of the players I've touted in the latter rounds may never get drafted at all. However, today's prospect won't be one of those guys. In fact, DE/OLB Ryan Davis will most likely be drafted somewhere in the 3rd/4th round range, and for good reason. When you take a look at his stats and video after the jump, I'm convinced you'll understand why ten teams, including the Panthers, showed up to see what this prospect could do, and he didn't disappoint.
It would be an understatement to suggest that Davis was a very good player at Bethune-Cookman. Dominating would actually be a more fitting way to describe his senior season. At 6'3", 261 lbs, Davis used his 4.71 speed to take over games on his way to becoming the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's Defensive Player of the Year. Some of his more significant senior season statistics include 12 sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss, 17 quarterback hurries, and 8 forced fumbles. It isn't hard to imagine that If those numbers were put up at an FBS college, he might very well be in the first round conversation along with another defensive end/outside linebacker from the SEC who we all are very familiar with. Who might that be?
The mere fact that the Panthers showed up to examine this prospect a bit more closely is interesting when you consider that they haven't paid very much attention to Melvin Ingram, who seems to have a very similar skill set as Davis. The only explanation that I can come up with on this is that the Panthers don't believe that either of these prospect's potential capabilities at the next level is worth a first round pick in their defensive system. In other words, the Panthers probably feel as if using a 4th round pick on a prospect like Davis correlates well with the slightly limited role he would have in their 4-3 heavy defensive scheme. Whereas, a team like the Jets, who seem to be high on Ingram, may have no problem snatching the former Gamecock with their first round pick(16) because of how much they could use his skill set in their base 3-4 defense. Be sure to let me know if have any further insight on this in the comment section below. Enjoy the show.
DE Ryan Davis' Senior Season Stats