Safety Shannon Stacks Up Tackles

We talked to Buffalo safety Davonte Shannon, a four-year first-team all-conference selection who the Packers paid close attention to during his pro day, according to a source.

Davonte Shannon has a nose for the football.

Shannon, a hard-hitting safety, leaves Buffalo as the school's all-time leader with 461 tackles and was only the fourth player in Mid-American Conference history to be named to the all-conference first team all four seasons.

"I just think it's the coaches believing in me right way," Shannon told Packer Report when asked about his four-year impact at Buffalo. "They needed someone to come in and fill that role and I was able to come in and make plays. Ever since then, I just kept going and tried to get better and work on my game every year to get to this point where I'm at right now."

Shannon (6-0, 205) and cornerback Josh Thomas were the players that a Packers scout focused on during Buffalo's pro day, according to a source. During that March 10 workout, Shannon showed his explosive athletic ability with a 41.5-inch vertical leap but ran just a 4.57 in the 40 before tweaking a hamstring that kept him out of position drills.

For his career, Shannon picked off 10 passes.

"I like to cover, too," Shannon said. "I know with my tackles, my run-stopping abilities do stand out, but I think being able to know my assignment and do my job is one of my big strong suits."

As you'd expect from a player with such prodigious tackle numbers, Shannon possesses top-notch instincts, which seemingly always put him around the ball. Maybe those instincts come from watching a lot of football. He said his Sundays are spent with his dad, watching football from the first kickoff of the day to when the clock expires in the Sunday night game.

However, his lack of big-time range as a deep centerfielder probably will push him into the seventh round or priority free agent status even in this weak class of safeties.

Shannon was born in Pittsburgh and grew up cheering for the Steelers but kept a close eye on his "brother," former Buffalo teammate and current Packers running back James Starks. Starks was a sixth-round pick last year; in just a few weeks, Shannon will join him in the NFL.

"It's kind of surreal right now," he said. "You dream about this as a kid and you talk about it in class. The teacher asks what you want to be and you always tell her, ‘I want to play in the NFL.' Now it's here and it's kind of crazy. I'm just trying to put all my faith in God and let things sort themselves out."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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