For NFL hopefuls, the draft is often one of the most emotional moments in their lives.
That was the case for Auburn Tigers linebacker Deshaun Davis, who was just hoping to hear his name called at any point in the draft. After all, most projections had him going undrafted, even though he enjoyed a First-Team All-SEC senior season with the Tigers after racking up 112 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss.
But all it takes is one team to believe in you. As it turned out, the Bengals were believes in what Davis can bring to the a defense that is desperate need of linebackers.
And on Saturday, Davis got the call every football player dreams of getting:
The Cincinnati Bengals made more draft maneuvers that we have become accustomed to, but they continued to amass talent on Day 3. And, with their second pick in the sixth round, Zac Taylor’s crew went to re-stock one of the club’s weakest position groups.
Auburn’s Deshaun Davis was the pick at No. 210 overall, and while he has some limitations, he does bring a handful of great attributes to the Bengals’ defense.
Physicality: If you’re looking for an old school, thumping middle linebacker, then Davis is your guy. He is good at diagnosing a play, shooting into a lane and making the tackle with frequency. His 29.5 tackles for loss over the past four years bode well for a Bengals defense that needs improvement.
Leadership and motivation: If you want to hear about a guy who has had a chip on his shoulder, you should research Davis. One of his middle school teachers apparently told him he’d be dead or in jail by the time he was 18.
Instead, Davis parlayed his abilities into a football scholarship at one of the premiere college programs and was drafted into the NFL. Zac Taylor has wanted high character guys in this class, and few have the story that Davis does as he becomes a pro.
Depth: The linebacker group was the weakest position group for the Bengals coming into this weekend and they addressed it twice in the middle/late rounds. Throw in the fact that two starters (Vontaze Burfict and Preston Brown) ended the year on Injured Reserve, and one can see why the positional need was so pressing this season.
Davis was a linchpin on the Tigers’ defense and had some outstanding production as a senior. As the team likely looks to rotate players in and out of the lineup to mix up looks, Davis looks to be the improved replacement for players like Brandon Bell and Hardy Nickerson, Jr.