Robert Davis Proven, Ready
By BJ Bennett
Follow us at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin. Become a fan at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page
As a prospect, Georgia State's Robert Davis checks every box.
The draft profile for Georgia State wide receiver Robert Davis is well-rounded and complete. At 6'3'', 219 pounds, he is the Panthers' all-time leading receiver with 222 career catches for 3,391 yards and 17 touchdowns. A trip to the NFL Combine offered even more validation; Davis ran 4.44 in the forty yard dash and recorded the longest broad jump, the second-highest vertical leap and the second-most bench press reps of any prospect at his position.
Davis came to a developing Georgia State program still very much in its infancy. He, with persistence and production, helped lay the Panthers' foundation. Davis' freshman season, Georgia State did not win a single outing; as a junior, Davis led the Panthers to a late four-game winning streak and a historic Cure Bowl appearance against San Jose State. Records are just part of the legacy he leaves behind.
"It was an honor to be able to go out there and start a new tradition at Georgia State," Davis explained on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. "Being able to have a group of guys that were willing to work hard to accomplish that was an honor in itself."
Atlanta to Indianapolis, combine results clearly boosted Davis' draft stock. He drew rave reviews from various media on-site and prompted a chatter that raised his profile. Paired alongside many of college football's other top players, Davis stood out. Physically, he is the next-level prototype. As good as Davis has been, many believe considerable upside remains, an exciting proposition for coaches and scouts alike.
"I got a lot of positive feedback. A lot of guys saying they really like my athleticism with me being the top athletic wide receiver at the combine. But I was actually a little disappointed with some of my numbers," Davis acknowledged. "I'm just glad that I was able to go out there and perform, it's just a blessing."
The full-package on the perimeter, Davis has a resume that shows he can do it all. A career average of over 15 yards per reception displays a distinct big-play ability, while touchdowns at Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin offer affirmation against the best-of-the-best. Davis, in his final college game, even recorded a tackle.
Stepping onto the field right away, the Warner Robins-native played in all 49 games in four seasons with the Panthers; he caught at least one pass in each of them.
The strengths, when it comes to Davis, are easy to identify.
"Somebody that can stretch the field. Somebody with size and length who can run and be able to run all of the deep routes," he continued. "Being able to showcase that speed was a positive thing."
Fittingly, Davis has worked out with current NFL wide receiver Albert Wilson recently, the man whose school records Davis recently broke at Georgia State. Wilson has 82 grabs in three years with the Kansas City Chiefs and scored both as a pass-catcher and a ball-carrier this past season. Davis has benefited from advice and insight from Wilson as he prepares for his own upcoming opportunity.
Time with the Panthers, through a former teammate, has come full-circle for Davis, proving to be the tie that binds.
"Just the motivation. He was a guy that came out of Georgia State and showed that we can perform on Sundays," Davis detailed. "Just being able to look up to a guy like that is amazing."
Now, Davis is working and waiting, doing what he can to perfect his craft as the draft approaches.
"I don't try to think too much into the future. I just try to enjoy the present, try to take it one day at a time, take everyday and try to be the best receiver I can be and get better day-by-day," he added.
Football has long been there for Davis. As a senior in high school, he caught just eleven passes while helping his team, sometimes in other ways, continue a rich, storied tradition of winning. College was a chance for Davis to take center stage in the building process, an effort he pushed forward. Pre-draft workouts have offered a glimpse into what's to come.
Davis has seen friends, like Wilson, have professional success, and family, too; Robert's cousin Thomas was a star at Georgia and is a multi-time Pro Bowler, and winner of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, for the Carolina Panthers. Having relationships like those only strengthens Robert's footing.
Though weeks remain before Davis will take that next step, the transition is sure to be a special one.
"I feel like after you get that phone call, you start thinking about all of the hard work and dedication you put in, so I know it will definitely be an emotional moment for me because this has been a dream since before I can remember," Davis concluded. "It's something I would love to be able to share with my friends and family and I'm excited about it."
As a prospect, Davis checks every box. A paint-by-number progression continues.