JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Stressed out by the uncertainty of the NFL draft? No way. Javaris Davis is ready.
The cornerback from Ed White High School who played four seasons with Auburn is as relaxed as he can be two days before the NFL draft begins.
The concerns about his height? Davis said he’s not sweating it. Missed opportunities to work out for teams due to the coronavirus pandemic? Out of his control.
He’s enjoying the process, and knows it’s the latest step in a journey that began as a kid on the fields at Sweetwater Athletic Association.
“It’s been pretty amazing, a kid from Jacksonville, Florida being able to make it out and take care of my family,” said Davis, a 5-8.5, 183-pound corner with elite track star speed. “I’ve been training for this all my life since I started playing football at the age of 7. Wherever God wants me at is where I’ll end up.”
In a draft cycle with quite a few area products available — five were invited to the NFL combine — Davis headlines the local prospects. Raines products Solomon Kindley and Michael Pinckney, Oakleaf’s Shaquille Quarterman and Glynn Academy’s Deejay Dallas are among the other locals who expect to hear their names called during the draft.
In numerous expanded mock drafts, Davis is projected to be the first area player selected. At least three have him being taken by the Jaguars on the final afternoon of the draft. Davis said that he’s had conversations with a handful of teams, including Jacksonville, and said it would be wild to end up with his hometown team.
But wherever he lands is the right spot for him.
“I’ve talked to the Jaguars a couple times, I know the coaching staff likes me,” he said. “At the same time, I don’t really care where I go.”
Davis said that he felt the tug of football not long after he began playing at Sweetwater Athletic Association, one of the area’s launching points for exceptional athletes. It evolved through middle school and really took shape in high school at White.
“I always wanted to [play in the NFL],” he said. “But it really started picking up in high school when I started getting [college] offers. I knew if I just worked hard and kept working hard, I’d get better and grow. When I started developing my craft, scoring touchdowns and stuff, I kept growing and growing and I got better and better.”
Davis was a two-way star in high school, shining on offense as a running back and emerging as a lockdown corner in the secondary. When he signed with Auburn in 2015, it was all defense. Davis came on strong as a redshirt freshman and started the last two and a half years for the Tigers. He finished with 150 tackles, 35 passes defensed, 11 tackles for loss and eight interceptions.
“Auburn was the right decision for me, led me to where I am today,” he said. “Auburn will forever and ever have a special place in my heart. I grew a lot mentally when I was there.”
Davis said that the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken things up for every player across the board and probably made life more difficult for coaches and general managers than for prospects. He did well at the Senior Bowl and Davis’ combine performance was solid, including a 4.39 40-yard dash with a tweaked hamstring. The knock on him, Davis said, has been his height. He measured 5-8.5.
Reason to worry? Not for Davis. He’s ready.
“At the end of day, I can’t really control my size. I know my ability, what I’m capable of,” he said. “I know I’m going to be that competitive at the next level. That’s the only really negative I’ve heard [from teams].”