Jan 20, 2014; Fairhope, AL, USA; South Squad wide receiver Mike Davis of Texas (1) carries the ball up the field during practice at Fairhope Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
After spending their first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft to fill a need on their offensive line, the Dallas Cowboys used their big board to draft for talent with their next two picks. One of those picks was wide receiver Terrance Williams. Selected in the third round, the native of Dallas paid big dividends in 2013 as veteran wideout Miles Austin’s skills diminished and his hamstring injuries increased. The former Baylor Bear recorded 44 receptions and five touchdowns in his rookie campaign. If the Cowboys front office continues in this draft strategy, another wideout native to Dallas could be chosen in the early rounds of this year’s draft.
Playing in the Senior Bowl this Saturday, University of Texas receiver Mike Davis has been impressive in practices. Some have even called him the best looking receiver playing for the South. That’s a major complement considering his receiver corps includes highly ranked wideouts Cody Hoffman (BYU) and Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt). Here’s what the Eric Galko of the SportingNews had to say about Davis after Tuesday’s practice session:
"“Former Texas Longhorn Mike Davis had a bit of a streaky practice, burning cornerback Chris Davis on a double move “sluggo” pattern—and then dropping a simple out pattern. He’s not bothered by contact early at the line of scrimmage and arguably was the best receiver against press looks. Still, even when he’s won at the line, cornerbacks are able to recover at the route break due to his inability to plant and redirect explosively at the top of his pass patterns.”"
The former Skyline High receiver has spoken to a number of different NFL teams while practicing for the Senior Bowl, including the Dallas Cowboys. But the Cowboys possess something the other teams don’t. Not only is Dallas his hometown, but Davis views Cowboy wideout Dez Bryant like a big brother. Bryant and his adviser, David Wells, have been mentoring Davis for the last four or five years. Although it seems strange to hear the words “Dez Bryant” and “mentor” in the same sentence, Davis says that being under Dez’s wing has made him a better receiver.
But just how good is Davis? Despite injuries at the quarterback position, the 6’2 tall wideout recorded 51 receptions for 727 yards and eight touchdowns in his senior season as a Longhorn. Davis’ junior campaign was even better, catching 57 balls for 939 yards and seven scores. His career numbers at Texas, 200 receptions for 2,753 yards, make him the fourth best wideout in school history. But maybe the biggest voice of support for Davis is coming from former Cowboys’ chief talent scout for 29 years, and current NFL Analyst, Gil Brandt. Brandt called Davis the top senior wideout in the country back in July.
CBSSports ranks Davis as the 108th best overall player in this draft. They expect him to be a third or fourth round pick. Walter Football rank him as the 19th best wideout available in the draft, projected to go somewhere between the third and fifth round.
The Cowboys will definitely have interest in Davis considering his local connection, positive Senior Bowl impression and relationship with Bryant. But if Dallas wants Davis, it will probably cost them a third or fourth round pick.That may be too high a price considering the current state of the teams’ defense. In a better scenario, Davis would be a great fifth or sixth round selection, if he happens to fall in the draft. Regardless, Dallas should be on the lookout for young receiver talent. Especially if they intend on releasing Miles Austin after June 1st.