Measurables: 6-foot-1, 230 pounds.
2014 stats: Appeared in nine games with the New Orleans Saints/Denver Broncos, two starts, 17 total tackles (nine unassisted tackles, eight assisted tackles). Five special teams tackles, two passes defensed. 2014 postseason: Six total tackles, three unassisted tackles, three assisted tackles.
When the Broncos picked up linebacker Todd Davis off of waivers on November 13th, 2014, after the Saints cut ties with him, the Broncos had been playing solid statistical defense (22.4 points, 311.4 yards per game) but general manager John Elway, opportunistic as always, still deemed it wise to take a flyer on the undrafted rookie out of Sacramento State.
Davis only saw action in three regular season games—road games at San Diego and Cincinnati, as well as a home game against Oakland, but with him on the roster, the Broncos defensive numbers actually improved (21.7 points per game surrendered, as well as 293.7 yards given up per contest).
Now, with two less games than the previous sample, the stats are obviously skewed, but Davis showed himself worthy of more reps, making some plays when called upon, as he had seven total tackles in a 37-28 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 16, as well as two passes defensed in a 47-14 rout of the Oakland Raiders in Week 17.
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In the devastating postseason defeat to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Divisional round of the playoffs, Davis was one of the Broncos'bright spots, posting six tackles.
Davis has always had a nose for making stops. As at Paraclete High School in Lancaster, Calif., he recorded 119 tackles and three sacks in his senior season to earn first team all-state honors in California. This is no small feat, as California high school football has produced a litany of legends through the years, such as Hall of Fame tailback Marcus Allen, John Elway, and Hall of Fame head coaches Joe Gibbs and John Madden, among others.
Davis' propensity to make the stop ensued as he continued his football career at Sacramento State. Davis played 45 games for the Hornets, finishing second in school history with 351 tackles (including 157 solo stops), while also amassing 9.5 sacks (resulting in 68 lost yards), four forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and three interceptions. Beyond this, he also defensed six passes and blocked a kick.
In his senior season, he started all 12 games for the Hornets in 2013, being one of the bright spots in a 5-7 season under head coach Marshall Sperbeck. In this campaign, Davis amassed a team-high 131 tackles (54 solo stops), five sacks (resulting in a net loss of 36 yards), two forced fumbles, two interceptions (returned for 34 yards), four passes defensed and a blocked kick.
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For his contributions, he was named as a first-team All-Big Sky conference selection and a second- team All-American in the FCS (I-AA) subdivision of Division I football, by The Sports Network. This was preceded by second-team All-Big Sky honors his junior season, while also being named the team's defensive MVP.
The Broncos linebacker situation is arguably as propitious as any team in the NFL, with the likes of Brandon Marshall, Danny Trevathan and Von Miller being among the best in the league. For Davis to make the roster and cast an indelible impression upon the coaches, it seems it's in his best interest to do what he heretofore has: make stops.
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With Marshall and Trevathan’s respective inactivity during OTAs, Davis ran with the first-team defense at inside linebacker, along with Steven Johnson—an interesting thing to note, since Davis received the opportunity over two Elway draft picks, Lamin Barrow and Corey Nelson.
At the end of the day, when the Turk beckons and numerous NFL aspirants have their dreams crushed, the Broncos depth at linebacker is a problem all teams would love to have, but I do believe Davis has what it takes to stay on the roster, provided he continues his performance into training camp.