How Davis Helps the Panthers

The Panthers got perhaps the best tackler in the draft when they selected Thomas Davis, safety/linebacker out of Georgia. Davis is known as a punishing hitter and a sure-tackling defender that will give the Panthers a powerful defensive weapon.

The Panthers were higher on Davis then they were Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson, as both players were available when the Panthers went on the clock with the 14th pick.

"No one hits harder than me in this draft," Thomas Davis told's Denis Savage a few weeks ago. "That's just how we were taught it since I got to Georgia," he said of his hard-hitting style. "It was basically just instilled into us to go out and play like that every week. You watch us on film and you'll see a lot of guys on our defense selling themselves out to make the play."

It appears, at least for the moment, that the Panthers view Davis as a linebacker, as NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue introduced him as "Linebacker" Thomas Davis. Scouts have beaten Davis down regarding his pass/run recognition skills in the last few weeks. "A lot of times Champ (Bailey) said I was too aggressive. A lot of times it really worked out for our team more than it hurt us."

"I feel that as teams see how well I move at this position, I hope they'll give me a shot at it. I definitely would prefer to (stay at safety), but I'm willing to meet any team's needs at either position. It really doesn't matter which."

Davis could play the SAM linebacker spot on the panthers, as his cover skills would be a great asset in passing situations. Any panther fan will tell you that the opposing team's TE's tore them up all season long. Enter Thomas Davis.

However, the panthers could consider Davis as the heir apparent to Mike Minter, who just turned 31 in January. Davis must improve his play recognition skills to be productive as Safety. He bites on play-action and falls out of position because of his penchant for stopping the run. With the recent signings of Marlon McCree and Idrees Bashir, it's unlikely the Panthers will use Davis at Safety.

Even though we aren't certain where Davis will play, what is certain is that the Panthers will have a hard-hitting player in Thomas Davis, wherever he is on the field.

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