Measuring up: Auburn's Ford pleased after weigh-in; Davis shocked
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Jan 24, 2014 | 2660 views |  0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
South Squad wide receiver Kevin Norwood, of Alabama, catches a pass over South cornerback Chris Davis, of Auburn, during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Thursday.
South Squad wide receiver Kevin Norwood, of Alabama, catches a pass over South cornerback Chris Davis, of Auburn, during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Thursday.
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MOBILE — When former Auburn defensive end Dee Ford’s weight was announced at the Senior Bowl weigh-in, he gave a celebratory fist pump.

Ford measured out at 6-foot-2, 243 pounds, just two pounds shy of his target weight.

“I didn’t expect that, but I was just happy,” Ford said. “On an empty stomach. I didn’t chug down a gallon of water so it was all natural. My target is 245, but I didn’t expect to be here that quick.”

But former Auburn cornerback Chris Davis’ measurements came as a shock to him, particularly his height. Davis was listed at 5-11 both at Auburn and coming out of high school.

But the Senior Bowl revealed he’s only 5-9.

“I actually think I’m 5-10, 5-11,” Davis said. “People tell me that I have the flattest feet they’ve ever seen so that plays a huge part in it. But height is just a number. It’s all about heart when you’re out there on the field.”

Both Ford and Davis are using the week at the Senior Bowl to showcase their talents to NFL scouts.

During a SportsCenter hit live from Mobile, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay had high praise for Ford.

“He’s been consistently getting around the edge and getting home as a pass rusher,” McShay said. “He’s giving these offensive tackles, a good group of offensive tackles, a lot of problems in the one-on-one drills and team drills and everything else he’s done this week.”

McShay added that Ford has the “best first step quickness” of any of the defensive ends at the Senior Bowl and that he was the “best perimeter pass rusher.” McShay also said Ford is “solidly moving up to that second day of the draft.”

Ford is currently ranked as the 10th best defensive end in this draft class. But with his size, one scout said Ford can play both defensive end and linebacker. Ford agrees.

“The way they make these defenses now, they have ‘Leo’ positions (hybrid linebacker/defensive end) and 3-4 outside linebackers who rush the passer,” Ford said. “I fit in either one. It really doesn’t matter. I’ll just get in where I fit in. You have to make plays at the next level and I feel like I do that.”

On Davis, one scout said that the prototypical NFL cornerback is 5-11, 185 pounds, and if they don’t fit those measurements, the player must make up for it with “speed and instincts.”

But Davis has a message for those who see his size as a negative.

“I have all of the intangibles necessary to be a NFL cornerback,” Davis said. “Great speed, good man-to-man technique and I’m a winner. I’ll do anything to win.”

Over the next few months, Davis said he’ll be working on small things like staying low in his back peddle while preparing for the draft.

“I’m just going to work my butt off and try to get everything out of my body that I can,” Davis said. “When the pro day and NFL combine get here, I’m just going to be ready to impress the scouts.”
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