Hot prospect: Vernon Davis Q&A

Tight end explains why he decided to enter draft after junior season

University of Maryland tight end Vernon Davis just might be the most physically gifted prospect in the 2006 NFL draft, with the possible exception of Reggie Bush. It's possible that the Green Bay Packers may consider selecting Davis with the fifth overall pick. Davis answered questions from Alain Poupart earlier in the off-season for this one-on-one chat:

Q: Was your decision to come out for the draft as a junior following the 2005 season pretty much a no-brainer?
VD: "Yeah. After the (2004 season) I kind of thought about it, had some talks with the coach, told them if I had a good season I would leave. After the season was over, I kind of made my decision to go ahead and go. I did pretty much everything I could do there; I could have done more, but sometimes it wasn't a good situation."

Q: At the time you declared for the draft, did you see yourself projected as the top tight end prospect?
VD: "I would see that all season long, then when I sent my projection in, I was projected to go first round, that's another factor which made me come out."

Q: Which NFL tight end would you compare yourself to?
VD: "I don't know, I haven't really seen too many tight ends in the league that are capable of playing like me, as far as being explosive. A lot of guys, they can catch; you've got Antonio Gates, who can catch, run routes and all that, but after you get the ball, he can make a couple moves, but I don't really see any explosiveness out of him."

Q: Have you always been a tight end?
VD: "Yeah, high school, always been a tight end, but I would always do wide receiver things. I went to Maryland as a receiver, first got there played receiver, but they had too many receivers, so then Coach came to me one day and he was like, ‘How would you like ... we need to get you on the field as a freshman because obviously you have the talent.' So he was like, ‘How would you feel about going to H-back, tight end?' I was like, ‘Fine, Coach, fine, whatever you want me to do.' So that's when I moved to tight end."

Q: Did you ever think moving to tight end would hurt your chances of getting to the NFL?
VD: "Playing tight end in college, man, when I first moved there it was tough, going against All-Pro Shawne Merriman. He made me better. Shawne really got me better because we competed — as I started to grow my freshman year, me and Shawne competed every day. And it was kind of tough being that light, not as strong as I could be, going against guys who already had been on the collegiate level. It just took some time, some development."

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