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A late-round look: Dexter Davis

02.27.10 at 1:28 pm ET

INDIANAPOLIS — As Nick Caserio pointed out Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine, the 2010 Draft is one that features plenty of pass-rushing defensive ends who could be moving to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. While names like Brandon Graham and Jerry Hughes (whom Mike Mayock believes the Patriots could target) are becoming more popular with each passing day, it is worth noting that historically Bill Belichick has not gone after these types early on in the draft.

If the Patriots decide yet again to pass over the highly rated pass-rushers in the first couple of rounds, there remains talent in the later part of the draft. One of those players is Arizona State’s Dexter Davis. The former Sun Devil stands at 6-foot-2 (below what should be referred to as the “Belichick Line” of 6-foot-5) and has questions about his ability in coverage in addition to having a poor senior season.

So what is the draw with Davis? He was A four-year starter on ASU’s defense and set a school record with 50 games played.

“That was real important to me,” Davis said of the milestone. “I wanted to leave my mark on that school and I feel like I did that.

“Just being able to fight through knicks and bruises and knowing I was able to play was important to me.”

Not only did he play, but he was productive in his first three years prior the lackluster senior showing. All in all he recorded 133 tackles as a Sun Devil.

Davis has met with multiple NFL teams, including the Patriots at the East/West Shrine game, about which role he would be used in. He is open to being a 3-4 outside linebacker and has no preference. Should he move to outside linebacker, changes to his game will have to be made, and Davis is making sure that he will be fully prepared for the move.

“I’ve been working with a position coach at Athletes Performance in Pheonix,” Davis said in response to questions about his fluidity. “The ability of opening  hips as the skill he most looks forward to showing off [at the combine].”

Due to his statistical dropoff and concerns about the aforementioned fluidity, Davis is seen as a fifth-to-seventh-round pick.

Read More: NFL Combine,



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