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Will Davis

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 261 | College: Illinois
Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange

Davis, a former wide receiver and tight end, registered 12.5 tackles for loss, including 9.5 sacks, as a junior to earn second-team All-Big Ten honors. But he took a step backward in 2008 with teams having a year of film to study, and his production plummeted (seven tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks).

Davis has rare foot quickness and straight-line speed -- to be expected of a former receiver -- for a defensive end, though he was sapped of some of that speed by nagging ankle injuries. His lack of upper-body strength and hand technique usually means that if blockers can get their hands on him, he's rendered ineffective quickly.

A team willing to spend a second-day draft pick could get a nice return on their initial investment if they can get Davis to work in the weight room.


Positives: Good initial quickness off the snap. … Can force the tackle outside with his speed, creating lanes for blitzing teammates or for himself to spin back inside. … Rare straight-line speed for the position. … Good effort to make plays in pursuit. Understands his role in the defense and generally plays with good contain. … Can string the play out wide. … Adequate lower-body strength to anchor. … Good lateral agility and balance to tackle in close quarters. … Ascending player who is still learning the nuances of the position after moving from offense to defense.

Negatives: Lacks the bulk and strength to consistently hold up at the point of attack. … Adequately effective holding up against one blocker in the running game, but lacks the sand in his pants to split the double team. … Struggles to disengage once the blocker gets a hand on him. … Relies on his speed as a pass rusher and is essentially a one-trick pony at this time. … Not often asked to play in space and has little experience in coverage, making the projection to a rush linebacker position a risky one.

Career Notes

Named to the 2008 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List and the 2008 Ted Hendrick Defensive End of the Year Award Watch List. … Second-team all-Big Ten in 2007.

2008 Season

Had six tackles against Western Michigan, assisting on a QB sack and totaling 1.5 TFLs … Tallied two solo tackles, including a QB sack, against Iowa … Had four tackles at Wisconsin … Recorded two tackles and a PBU vs. Minnesota … Had four tackles, including one TFL, at Michigan … Had three tackles with a QB sack, two TFLs and a QB hurry against Louisiana … Forced a fumble against Eastern Illinois to go along with five tackles and a sack … Recorded three tackles including 0.5 TFL against Missouri … Also notched a PBU and a QB hurry against the Tigers.

2007 Season

Honorable Mention All--Big 10. Ranked 26th in the nation and sixth in the Big Ten in sacks per game with 0.73 … Tied for 96th in the nation and 12th in the Big Ten in TFLs per game … Recorded two solo tackles vs. USC in the Rose Bowl … Had three solo tackles, a sack and two QB hurries against Northwestern … Notched three solo tackles and a sack at No. 1 Ohio State … Had two solo tackles at Minnesota … Notched three tackles - including two solos - a sack and a QB hurry against Ball State … Had four tackles - including three solos - 0.5 TFLs and a QB hurry against No. 25 Michigan … Assisted on three tackles and notched 0.5 sacks for five yards at Iowa … Assisted on a tackle and had a QB hurry against No. 5 Wisconsin … Notched six tackles - three solo - against No. 21 Penn State, along with 0.5 sacks and a QB hurry … Recorded a career-high four sacks, seven tackles - including a career-high five solos - five total TFLs for 22 yards and a forced fumble at Indiana … Recorded three tackles - including two solos - and a career-high 1.5 sacks at Syracuse … Had one quarterback hurry against Western Illinois … Recorded a career-high four solo tackles and one TFL against Missouri.

2006 Season

Played in all 12 games, starting the final two at defensive end … Recorded two tackles, one for loss and a quarterback hurry in the season finale at Northwestern … Had one tackle for loss vs. Purdue … Forced two fumbles and had three solo tackles, one for a sack vs. Ohio State … Recorded his first career sack for 12 yards at Penn State … Tied a career-high against Indiana with three tackles, including two solos … Also recorded a QB hurry against the Hoosiers … Recorded three tackles, including one solo, at Michigan State … Recorded a career-high two QB hurries against Iowa … Had two tackles, including a solo, against the Hawkeyes … Recorded two solo tackles against Syracuse … Assisted on a tackle against Eastern Illinois.

2005 Season

Played in eight games as both a wide receiver and tight end … Did not record any statistics … Was in on 58 special teams snaps and 23 offensive plays.

Injury Report

2008: Played through an ankle injury for much of his senior season.

Agility Tests

Pro Day (from NFL.com) 4.86 and 4.89 seconds in the 40-yard dash. … 34-inch vertical. … 9'10"-inch broad jump. … 4.45 short shuttle. … 7.15 three-cone drill. … Did not lift 225-pound bench press.

High School

A member of the SuperPrep top-25 team … Started on both sides of the ball … Earned first-team All-State, All-Metro, All-League, and All-County honors … Named to the Maryland Super 44 All-Star team and the P.G. County North All-Star team … Averaged over 28 yards per reception as a senior … Made 21 receptions for 579 yards and 10 touchdowns as a wide receiver … Also recorded 136 tackles and 24 sacks on defense … Had eight passes broken up, one safety, one blocked punt and four forced fumbles … SuperPrep All-Region selection … Lettered two years in football and track and one year in basketball … High school football coach was Rick Houchens.


Full name is William Benjamin Davis Jr. … Born June 2, 1986 … Son of William Davis Sr. and Pearine Davis-Parkinson … Has seven brothers and two sisters … Mom played basketball for the Liberian national team and the University of Liberia and his uncle, John Davis, played soccer for Liberia … Majoring in community health … Chose Illinois over UConn, Boston College and Virginia.

Latest News
04/28/2009 - A closer look at the Cardinals' picks: Round 6/204 -- Will Davis, DE/OLB, 6-2, 261, Illinois...A developmental player who will have a hard time making the 53-man roster. He likely will move to outside linebacker.

01/23/2009 - Senior Bowl Practice Disappointments: DE Will Davis, Illinois: Davis was considered a top prospect as a junior but could not carry the expectations into 2008. He spent most of this week struggling to beat his man off the edge and getting engulfed when trying to bull rush. Teammate Derek Walker may have had a bigger impact. - Chad Reuter, The Sports Xchange, NFLDraftScout.com

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