NFL scouts will tell you that if a player is talented enough they'll eventually find him. Two under the radar prospects put forth the types of efforts Wednesday that could result in earning a late round selection.
At Texas Tech, strong safety Cody Davis stole the spotlight, delivering the kind of numbers to rival any safety invited this year to the combine.
Davis was unofficially clocked at 4.41-4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash, according to a league source. He also registered a 4.04 seconds in the short shuttle, 11.09 seconds in the long shuttle and 6.79 seconds in the three-cone drill. Perhaps most impressively, Davis posted a 41.5-inch vertical jump, demonstrating a degree of explosiveness that he hadn't shown a few weeks prior when tested at a regional combine held at the Houston Texans' practice facility.
While Davis' numbers were impressive, the source said that he was not quite as explosive during the positional drills and pointed out that Davis and the rest of the athletes on hand were running on turf, a surface that can generate faster times than a track, such as the ones players ran on inside Lucas Oil Stadium a few weeks ago at the combine. Some teams, in fact, add as much as a tenth of a second to 40-yard dash results taken off of turf.
Davis earned second-team All-Big 12 honors as a senior and leaves Tech eighth on the career list with 362 tackles, including a gaudy 84 solos in 2012 (fourth best in the NCAA). He is viewed as an instinctive defender but more of a drag-down tackler than an explosive hitter, which is why the numbers could boost his stock, especially considering that he wasn't invited to the combine. There were an estimated 15-17 teams represented at the workout, including one defensive backs coach.
While Davis' timed drills were most impressive at the Texas Tech workout, it was Manase Foketi's positional drills at West Texas A&M that might help his cause the most.
Unlike Davis, Foketi was invited to the combine. He wasn't able to perform there, however, citing a strained calf. A league source on hand for Tuesday's workout relayed 40-yard dash times for the Kansas State transfer which sound like he still was hampered by the injury, as the big man clocked averaged 5.6 seconds on his two attempts.
While the 2012 recipient of the Gene Upshaw Division II Offensive Lineman of the Year was far from explosive during timed drills, he did flash the burst and strength to intrigue as a potential guard convert for clubs using a power-based blocking scheme.
An estimated 15 teams were on hand for the West Texas A&M workout.