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INDIANAPOLIS — The 40-yard dash might be overrated in some folks’ eyes, but teams always feel a bit skittish about drafting players who have not recorded a time before the NFL draft. That’s why the health of Western Michigan wideout Corey Davis is something teams will be watching closely over the next several weeks.
Davis will not be running a 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine this weekend, or at his school’s pro day on March 15, after having ankle surgery in late January. There’s a chance he might not be able to run prior to the draft, but Davis said he and his agent are trying to set up a second pro day sometime in April after he’s cleared to run. Davis almost certainly will be back in Indianapolis in early April for the combine medical recheck.
“It’s a high ankle sprain,” Davis said Friday. “Two ligaments ended up being torn. I had that repaired with surgery six weeks back.”
The 6-foot-2, 213-pound Davis and Clemson’s Mike Williams appear to be jockeying for position to be the first receiver drafted. Williams also won’t run here, blaming a “long season” as the reason why, but will at Clemson’s pro day in two weeks. NFL scouts are curious to see what Williams and Davis run, as questions about their speed exist. It might be the biggest concern in both of their games.
“I know it sounds crazy, but I don’t think he’ll go top 20 if we don’t have a  time on him,” an AFC college scouting director told Shutdown Corner entering this week.
But Davis isn’t too worried. The work he did in a brilliant career for the Broncos, where he became the all-time major college football leader in receiving yards (5,285), is what is most important in his eyes.
“My game tape is not too shabby,” Davis said. “I’ll be good by minicamp, so that’s really what matters.”
Davis plays like an alpha dog, dominating 50-50 balls and carrying himself with a presence on the field. He said his final college touchdown catch in the Cotton Bowl loss against Wisconsin was a play that defined his game well, “with a guy draped all over me.”
Davis also is a strong blocker and route runner and is dangerous after the catch. But it’s his work ethic, Davis believes, that sets him apart. He was a former two-star high-school recruit who was able to escape a tough childhood to reach football stardom and is on the verge of being a first-round pick, perhaps a very high one.
“I work like I’m the worst receiver in the draft, but my confidence is up there and I know I’m that top guy,” he said.
Even still, he had better hope that his doctor’s estimation of being able to run for NFL scouts prior to the draft holds true. Game tape or not, teams still want to see what his speed clocks in at.
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