Name: Michael Davis
NFL games played: 0
Games played for the Chargers: 0
Fun fact: Davis is half Black, half Mexican.
The Chargers might have found something in UDFA CB Michael Davis.
Davis has already impressed enough in the short time he's been with the Chargers to earn some practice time with the 1s, and it's easy to understand why. Standing at 6'2, 196 lbs, and having run a 4.34 40 yard dash at his Pro Day, Davis has the size and speed combo that every NFL team dreams about. There's very few CBs in the NFL who have both size and speed, and those that do are treasured. Usually, anyway. Davis wasn't even coveted enough to have a seventh round draft pick used on him.
According to Davis, his attitude was a major factor that resulted in him going undrafted: “Coming off my junior year I had a good season. But then my senior year, we had a new coaching staff, and I felt I had earned my place. I wasn’t as productive as I should (have been). I wasn’t in my film as much as my first three years, and I went away from my press fundamentals. That wasn’t who I should have been. As a senior on the team I should have been a leader. I wasn’t showing those skills on the field. So after our game against Mississippi State, my coach and I had a talk and he benched me the rest of the season.”
Sounds plausible. But this article from Vanquish The Foe (BYU's own SB Nation site) was written before his senior year, and realistically projected him to be a camp invite at best. Davis might have the size and the speed, but that's not always enough.
Davis was more of an athlete than a football player in High School, seeing time at both WR and DB, as well as carrying the ball as a runner and returning kicks. Despite being 6'2 with blazing speed, he was only a 2* recruit by Rivals. Davis was better known for his sprinting skills than his football ones in High School, as he came fifth in the California State Championships 200m final with a time of 21.58 seconds. He didn't run in the 100m there but does boast a personal best time of 10.59 seconds.
To steal a quote from the longest yard: "He fast. He makes fast people look not fast."
That speed meant that teams could overlook a lack of production in High School, and after interest from San Diego State, Oregon, USC, and Iowa State, among others, Davis committed to BYU. He came to BYU as a WR, then switched to CB during his freshman season, then back to WR after the season, before finally moving back to CB again in summer.
From what I can tell, Davis didn't do badly at CB while at BYU once he'd gotten used to the position, but he didn't exactly stand out, either. In his four years there (which saw him make 30 starts), Davis had just one interception. In 30 starts! That's not going to get you noticed by NFL teams. Teams covet athletes, but they also covet 'ball hawks' or CBs with 'ball skills,' and that certainly doesn't apply to Davis.
I really wish I could tell you more about Davis on the field because he's clearly an intriguing prospect and he's already done enough to climb up the depth chart. Unfortunately, there is absolutely zero tape on Davis out there, and there aren't any reliable scouting reports, either (one report had his speed listed as a weakness). We're just going to have to wait to actually see him in action to see how his coverage stacks up.
With that said, I think Davis has managed to already turn himself into an absolute lock for at least the Practice Squad, with a very good chance that he makes the 53 man roster. The Chargers are paper thin at CB behind Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward, which leaves three or four CB spots wide open for anybody to grab. First impressions count more than you can imagine, and the fact that the coaches already trust Davis enough to put him up against WRs like Keenan Allen in practice (and that he held his own against them) bodes really well for his chances of making the roster. It wouldn't even come as a massive surprise if Davis saw playing time in Week 1, considering the spot for a #3 CB - which is essentially a starting role in today's NFL - is completely open. If I had to pick right now, I'd say it's between Davis and Trovon Reed.
Off the field, Davis got into a little bit of trouble while at BYU. On the 29th July 2015, Davis was charged with two misdemeanor counts (one for assault, one for rioting) after an altercation with a male over a parking spot. Davis had apparently parked his car in somebody else's spot, and when a tow truck was called, Davis and two friends confronted the man and the tow truck driver. The man was allegedly left with visible marks on his neck, although didn't need any medical assistance. (The rioting charge seems to be because there were multiple people involved, although no charges were filed against Davis' friends).
The rioting charge was dismissed, and Davis pleaded no contest to the assault charge after it had been dropped in severity from a Class A misdemeanor to a class B misdemeanor. He was ordered to pay a $250 fine, undertake an anger management class and was placed on a year of probation.
Davis is definitely going to be one of the more interesting players to watch for in Training Camp and Preseason. Hopefully, he could be a solution to the Chargers lack of depth at CB.