On Tuesday, the NFL world descended upon Gainesville, FL for a Pro Day that was under the microscope of ESPN, NFL Network and the SEC Network at the University of Florida.
One of the big reasons the Gators’ Pro Day was so alluring was because it would be the first time scouts, coaches and fans alike would get a look at star linebacker Jarrad Davis, who could not participate last month at the Combine due to an ankle injury he suffered during the season.
In the end, the wait was well forth it for those anticipating his tests, as Davis put up some eye-popping numbers.
Jarrad Davis just jumped higher than the markers measured in the vertical….
Davis was making those in attendance “ooo and ahhh” before his numbers were even posted by jumping higher than the vertical markers were set at for his height. On his first attempt (which didn’t count), Davis jumped past the highest marker. So, naturally, as he set up for his second attempt (after adjusting the markers even higher), the entire indoor facility went silent to watch.
Davis ended up recording 38.5-inch vertical jump, which would have put him alone at the top in the linebacker category for that drill (even higher than Jabrill Peppers, who workout out with the linebackers). But, Davis didn’t stop there. The broad jump was next, and his result there was equally as impressive.
And it continues. LB Jarrad Davis with a 10' 9" broad jump.
That 10-foot, 9-inch number would also have been tops at the Combine for his position (including over Peppers). So, after proving his explosiveness on tape was no fluke, it was time to see how Davis would run. In his final speed test of the day, Davis passed with flying colors.
Jarrad Davis said his official 40 time today was a 4.56 (second fastest in Indy). Said that's the best time he's ever run, even in training.
Davis’ 4.54 40-yard dash trailed only Peppers at the Combine in the linebacker category – who isn’t even a linebacker. So, if you take Peppers away, that means Davis would have tested No. 1 in all three categories, and also put up 23 reps on the bench press earlier in the day.
After he went through his on-field drills, Davis’ coach, Jim McElwain, spoke highly of Davis’ toughness and explosiveness.
Davis said he motivation for the day was just to show NFL personnel members that he’s still the athlete he was before his injury.
“My mindset was just coming out and showing everyone I’m still the same athlete I was,” said Davis. “Just showing them that an ankle injury is an ankle injury, and that happens, but I can bounce back. I came out today to show people that I’m going to compete at the top level, and that I’ll execute every time I get the chance to.”
He also noted that his 4.56 40-yard dash time was the fastest time he’s ever ran, even in practice.
NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks mocked Davis to the Buccaneers at pick No. 19 last week. Today proved why Davis is so alluring as a prospect, but, even with his insane athletic numbers, the Buccaneers simply do not need him at the price they’ll have to pick him at.
Instead, some other team will get their hands on him. Bucs fans are just hoping he isn’t picked in the division.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: email@example.com