The 2015 NFL Draft should be for running backs what the 2014 draft was for wide receivers. In an era when it has been an iffy proposition that any running back would be selected in the first round, the 2015 draft could boast as many as five "first-round" talents. That, of course, doesn't mean that five running backs would be selected in the first round, it just means that there could be five who are that talented.
One of those guys, in my humble opinion, is South Carolina running back Mike Davis.
Davis emerged as a "Bell Cow" running back for the South Carolina Gamecocks shortly after Marcus Lattimore's gruesome knee injury. Since becoming South Carolina's lead back, Davis has proven both productive and dependable, if not overly flashy.
- Runs with power and determination. He will run over or through defenders, generally falling forward and finishing runs.
- Shows good pad level and protects the football. Three fumbles in 199 carries in 2014
- Shows good agility, balance, vision, and surprising agility
- Does the little things well. Generally reliable hands and pass protection
- Compact, stout build makes him difficult to bring down by one tackler
- Lacks top end speed to be a major home run threat
- Ran behind a top guard in A.J. Cann and a mammoth tackle in Corey Robinson. Teams could question how he runs without offensive linemen bullying defenders.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 56th Overall
Mocking The Draft - 99th Overall
CBS Sports - 78th Overall
Draft Countdown - Not Yet Ranked
Draft Tek - 85th overall
*Note: Also on this tape - A.J. Cann (LG No. 50, South Carolina), Corey Robinson (LT No. 73, South Carolina), Alvin "Bud" Dupree (DE/OLB No. 2, UK), Za'Darius Smith (DE/OLB No. 94, UK)
Does He Fit The Giants?
In a word: Yes. Davis, 5-foot-9, 223 pounds, is one of those running backs who can run inside or outside, catch the ball, and protect the passer. The entire playbook would be open with him on every play. He is perfectly suited to the kind of power running game Ben McAdoo wants to call to balance his spread passing game. Yes, Davis benefited from some big, nasty, mauling offensive linemen in front of him. But, Davis is capable of creating on his own, making defenders miss or simply running them over.
Full disclosure here: Mike Davis is my number three running back behind only Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley, and I think he will ultimately be one of the best value picks in the draft. My comparison for Davis is a healthy, rich man's Ahmad Bradshaw. He does everything well, runs hard, and can be a joy to watch.
Will the Giants take a running back this year? I have no clue. It will likely depend on if they feel they need to upgrade the position and how the draft board shakes out.
If Davis slips in the draft -- which he certainly could, given how offenses tend to favor explosive home run threats -- I could see the Giants taking him. I do think he would fit the offense well as a guy who can step in for Rashad Jennings or Andre Williams without any changes to the play-calling, and play at a high level.