April 2012 only saw one player from K-State find a home through the NFL draft – and even that was a stretch, as Bryce Brown saw little playing time and quit the team his first year after transferring to Manhattan before conference play started. 2013 should be a much more profitable year for departing Wildcat players. Over the next two weeks, Jug of Snyder will be assessing the players entering 2012 with draft hopes and how they finished their careers with K-State. For our seventh and final installment we go to a player that couldn’t even walk without significant pain last year and now has an opportunity to play at the highest level, defensive end Adam Davis.
For those unfamiliar with the story, it’s a great one. Following surgery between his sophomore and junior years, Adam Davis slipped a disc and pinched a nerve in his back. He stated that “couldn’t bend over because if I turned the wrong way it hit my nerve and sent pain down to my legs.” That he would even be able to live without pain was a question, and Davis acknowledged the very real chance of never playing football again. That summer was devoted to intense physical therapy, yet he was still able to transition from Hutchinson Community College to Kansas State in impressive fashion that fall while teaming with Meshak Williams for 11 sacks (Davis had four). During his senior year, Davis had 55 tackles – 15 for loss – to go with seven sacks, and four forced fumbles for the Wildcats.
Davis’ production was a continuation of two excellent seasons at Hutchinson During his freshman season he recorded 14.5 sacks, the third most in school history for s single season. Injuries prevented him from similar success his sophomore year, although his eight sacks allowed him to leave HCC second all-time in career sacks. It was this production that made K-State elated to get Davis to head East down I-70 and enroll in Manhattan.
If Davis was healthy for all four years of college, his production would have been off the charts. However, his unrealized potential is just as enticing as it is worrisome to future football employers – players will a difficult time staying healthy in school often only have their problems compounded once they’re faced with the rigors of the NFL. Davis also left the Baylor game this past year with an injury the put the Wildcats in a tough spot, eventually leading to the team’s only regular season loss.
Adam Davis has incredible quickness but is undersized at 260 pounds – he likely won’t find a spot to continue playing defensive end at the professional level. However, similar to Meshak Williams, his power and speed may allow him to find success as an outside linebacker. Another problem facing Davis is his height – he’s been listed as either 6’0″ or 6’1″, but either way his vertical stature is far less than ideal. Davis is currently unlisted by most draft sites, and will need a strong performance during pre-draft drills to find his name called this April. However, more than one player has performed themselves into the NFL. He has demonstrated impressive game speed, and should impress at the three cone drill. Expect multiple teams looking for additional depth to give him a look, and, assuming he can put together a strong performance, find himself in someone’s training camp this summer. This is particularly true as the Saints recently announced New Orleans will be the latest team transitioning to the 3-4, putting a continued emphasis on loading up on ‘tweener’ linebackers.