Michael Davis is the man to watch and the one who has the most to prove this training camp. If Michael Davis is still under the radar for you, check out the 90-in-90 article by BFTB staff writer, Jamie Sewell, to get a good look at who Michael Davis is. Another good Michael Davis primer is the BFTB podcast interview with Davis. Michael Davis has been receiving early buzz because of athleticism and play making ability. He was thrown into the fire early on and proved that he could hang with the starters. It’s no mystery that the Chargers have had health issues, so Davis has a good chance of becoming a dependable backup or even earn a starting position in his first season.
Michael Davis is 6’ 2”, just shy of 200 pounds, and can run a sub 4.4 40-yard dash. The raw athleticism he brings to the cornerback position is already a plus because he can match up on the outside with taller receivers such as Demaryius Thomas and Michael Crabtree. Davis doesn’t shy away from contact. Davis is a physical corner who can disrupt a receiver’s timing and route running from the line of scrimmage. The combination of timing/route running disruption at the line of scrimmage and some Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa pass rush could equal turnovers for the Chargers defense. Davis doesn’t sacrifice his playmaking ability by being physical. Some say corners are receivers that can’t catch, but that’s not true with Davis. Davis was a former wide receiver and may end up being a ballhawk in the NFL.
The Chargers have ten corners fighting for spots: Michael Davis; Randall Evans; Casey Hayward; Craig Mager; Trovon Reed; Ryan Reid; Brandon Stewart; Jason Verrett; Brad Watson; and Trevor Williams. Desmond King is listed on the team’s website as a CB but is currently third string safety behind Dwight Lowery and Tre Boston. The Chargers recently released an updated depth chart and Davis is listed as the second string left cornerback.
Keep in mind Verrett and Mager are both off the depth chart because they are currently injured; however, it looks like Davis impressed early on and found his way close to the top of the depth chart already.
I believe this is Davis’ position to lose, but also a chance for him to earn a permanent role with the first and second string players. It seems like a contradiction, but it is his to lose because of the early hype he received and his current position on the depth chart. He’s also in a spot where he can keep climbing the ranks and become a starter if he is able to impress the coaches and display consistent reliability and playmaking abilities. Davis can fit into Gus Bradley’s defense similarly to other tall athletic corners like Richard Sherman and Jalen Ramsey. Davis has a lot to prove to the coaches and especially to himself. At BYU, Davis had a good junior year, but struggled his senior year and was ultimately benched. Davis should have been on the field and believes he could have been a leader on that team last season. This is Davis’ chance to step up and deliver.
There are plenty of players on the Chargers roster who are fighting to take Davis’ job. Davis can keep his current spot on the depth chart by performing up to the coaches’ expectations (subjective I know) and by being a special teams warrior. Davis loves special teams, which will only bolster his chances of earning a starting role. Davis can fit into a nickel or dime package or become a dependable substitute at some point this season. At the very least, Davis can light it up on special teams. If things go his way, and with consistent production, Davis can solidify a position with the Chargers. Look for him to keep turning heads and to make an impact in the preseason.