Draft Analysis: A.J. Davis

NC State senior cornerback A.J. Davis was selected in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Davis and Detroit defensive coordinator Joe Barry met with the media to discuss the pick.

A.J. DAVIS
On how it feels to be a Detroit Lion:

"It feels real good. I am really excited to come up there and play for you."

On how he feels he fits in the Tampa-2 defensive system:
"I think I fit in it pretty good. It is similar to what I played in college. Going to any level, you are going to have to learn what the coach expects and that is what I am willing and ready to do."

On whether he had any idea that he would be drafted by the Lions:
"I kind of did. I saw that Dre Bly was gone. I met with the Lions at the combine. They were at my pro day. So, I had kind of an idea. I knew they were going to get a corner. They called me and I was excited."

On what injury he had last year, how healthy he is now and what affect that had on his play last year:
"It was a strained hamstring. It hurt me a little bit last year, because I had to miss a couple of games early in the year, but I was back playing by late September."

On the criticism of his run-support ability:
"I am willing to do that. In college I wasn't asked to come up and make tackles. We played a lot of man coverage, Cover-2, so I really didn't have to support the run. So, I didn't really get the opportunity so show that I could really do that. As far as that goes, when it is time to buckle-up and go, I will be ready."

On what he knows about the Detroit Lions organization:
"I had a teammate that was there, Terrence Holt, so I watched them closely. Being a football fan, you watch football and you know about every team."

On whether he talked to Terrence Holt when he was a Lion, or spoken with him since:
"I talked to him one time, but it was really short, because we were at a spring football game. We just talked about the NFL in general and what I needed to do to get there."

On fighting for a chance to start in a young Lions' secondary:
"Being a competitor, that's my competitive nature. I want to come in there and start immediately. I know I am going to have to learn, so I might have to sit in the back seat for a little while. But I am willing to compete for that spot."

On his strengths and abilities, and whether he is willing to play special teams:
"We talked about it a little bit. I am going to come in as a kick returner. I'm going to play all special teams. Anywhere that they ask me to play, I will play."

On his 40-yard dash time:
"I ran a 4.5."

On his personal best in the long jump:
"25' 2". I came in second at nationals with that jump."

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JOE BARRY
Opening Statement

"A.J. Davis from N.C. State, corner. We're excited about him, we really are. He's a kid that first and foremost has great character. He's going to bring great character to our locker-room and that's something we've really been looking at long and hard with every guy we've taken in the last 48 hours. He definitely fits into that mold. We've done our research on him and everybody at N.C. State has nothing but great things to say about the kid. Great work ethic, great in the locker-room and great off the field. We're excited about him.

"As far as football, he's been a great player there at N.C. State. We like the abilities he's going to be able to bring to us and we're going to throw him in the mix with the corners that we have."

On run defense being Davis' weakness:
"I disagree and I know that has been stated. This kid has a motor that is non-stop. The one thing we look at, especially at corners when we evaluate them, is that are they willing? Do you see them stick their face in? Do you see a guy that is going to stick his face in, or do you see a guy who is going to turn down hits? We don't see this guy ever turn down hits. Now, based on the system they play in, which is a lot of bump-and-run and man-to-man, he doesn't have a lot of opportunities, but the times he is asked to actually get off a block and stick his face in on a runner - he does do that. So, as long as a kid is willing, you can teach him to become a better tackler. As long as he's willing and we do believe he is willing to do that. We feel that we have a (darn) good player in A.J. Davis."

On the amount of second day picks he would like to obtain:
"We don't have a magic number on guys that we hope to get. Like I said, our main focus throughout this whole draft, but especially in the second day, is that we want to look for character. That's the number one thing. We want to look for good guys to bring into this locker-room and we've done that with him. The next thing is that we want to look at speed and physicallness. A.J. didn't run at the combine, but this is a kid that has explosive speed. He was a very successful long jumper at N.C. State and the ACC. He's an explosive athlete and we're excited about him."

On Davis' injury history:
"He missed two games, which was because of the hamstring. That was the only injury issue."

On if Davis fits the defensive scheme:
"Oh sure. We wouldn't take a guy at any round, but especially in the fourth round, if we didn't feel he fits the system. Like I said, the things A.J. Davis is going to bring to us: the character, the speed, the explosive athleticism, and the physciallness. We're not going to take a corner, especially in the fourth round, if he's not willing to stick his face in their and tackle."

On if Davis could challenge for a starting spot:
"That's one thing in the process that you have to look at. Both when watching the guy on film and being fortunate enough to meet the kid and spend time with him at the combine, you have to look and see what kind of makeup this kid has. You never want to bring in a player at any point in the draft, where he is just content with being a backup, or being content with just being on the team as a special teams player. We want guys that are always going to come in and want to start and want to play. This kid has that type of personality. He has that type of attitude and we believe he has that type of desire to come in and compete."

On if Davis can contribute on special teams:
"Oh definitely. I don't know what his special teams stats were throughout his career at N.C. State, but I feel that Stan Kwan is going to be able to do some work with this kid, no doubt about it."

On his first draft as a coordinator:
"I've been preparing to be a coordinator for four years. It is not something that I all of a sudden woke up one day and became and coordinator and realized that I need to start preparing. I've been going through the last four drafts in Tampa with the mindset that I really need to pay attention to the linebackers that I coached, but I looked at the corners, safeties, tackles, ends and learned how to evaluate them. So it's been a fairly smooth transition, because like I said, I've been preparing for this for a long time."


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