Interest at multiple positions for Davis

Is he a linebacker or a safety? That has become the pressing question these days and the answer won't be known until Thomas Davis hears his name in the NFL Draft this April. One thing is certain, he has many suitors.

At 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, Thomas Davis would seem to be the prototypical linebacker but he played the majority of his snaps at Georgia as a safety.

That is why teams are projecting him to either play outside linebacker or stick with his more natural strong safety position.

Not afraid to admit he likes playing close to the line of scrimmage, the obvious questions come up regarding his coverage skills.

"I just felt it was something I hadn't had to do a lot at Georgia," Davis revealed. "We didn't have to do it very much. I just feel at this point that I'm giving my best shot and if they see I'm capable of doing it, they'll write it all down."

Perhaps that is the reason for the interest in converting Davis to linebacker. An all-around athlete who played running back, quarterback, defensive end, defensive back, wide receiver, punter, kicker, and kick returner at various times throughout his high school career, many teams believe he can make a smooth transition from safety.

With 272 tackles over his past three seasons at Georgia, including 17 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks, Davis has proven to be an effective tackler.

From the safety spot, it is Davis' job to read the quarterback and not bite on play-action passes. He is part of the last defense. His aggressive nature forced him into a couple of situations where he was burned but Davis feels it was what the defense called for and worked out for the best.

"Basically it was based on game-planning, and the team made a change to that given how we play," Davis countered. "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."

And with a blatant disregard for his own body, the signs all point to him being moved. He is the same person that proclaimed, "no one hits harder than me in this draft."

"That's just how we were taught it since I got to Georgia," Davis 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."

For all the talk about linebacker, Davis admits he would love to stay at strong safety.

He left for the NFL Draft after his junior year because of what has been perceived as a weak safety class and knows he can make a difference at the position. While his preference is to play safety, he is ready for any challenge.

"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 ran his forties in the 4.65 range at the Combine and left extremely disappointed.

"I think I did pretty well with everything else at the Combine," said Davis. "For me, the 40 time was definitely a disappointment."

He returned on his Georgia Pro Day to run his forties at 4.43 and 4.44 with a wind at his back. But he felt he silenced some critics who felt he could not move well enough from his safety spot.

And he pointed out a critical fact that many fans forget when deciding his future.

"Look at the game film, and you'll see my game speed," said Davis. "It's really irrelevant, I feel like."

Another disappointment reared when he put up 12 reps on the bench press to the dismay of many scouts in attendance.

The lack of strength may keep him from playing linebacker in the NFL – where offensive linemen are routinely setting the blocks.

As he looks ahead to the NFL Draft, Davis admits he has a favorite team to play for because of the defense they play.

"Tampa," he says without hesitation. "Because of the way they play. Our defensive coordinator basically had us playing the same D that they were playing. I definitely feel comfortable playing in the Cover 2 most of the time."

When April 23 rolls around, Davis won't be the decision-maker. He has received interest from the Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New York Giants, just to name a few. And where he lines up will be up to the team that selects him.


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