Player Interviews

Is Sean Davis the Next Marcus Gilchrist?

on

The Chargers are advocates of the corner-safety hybrid. In 2013-2014, San Diego used converted cornerback Marcus Gilchrist as its starting strong safety. Last year, the team tried to hand the position to another hybrid player, Dolphins import Jimmy Wilson.

Now, it appears another versatile defensive back has landed on the team’s radar.

Chargers scouts used their time during Senior Bowl week to get an up-close look at Maryland DB Sean Davis. A four-year starter, Davis spent his first three seasons at safety before switching to cornerback as a senior.

Davis (6’1”, 201 lbs.) is an incredibly physical player. He racked up more than 100 tackles in both his sophomore and junior seasons. As a senior, he forced five fumbles to go along with three interceptions.

The switch to cornerback didn’t go especially smoothly — he struggled in man coverage and committed too many penalties — but it gave NFL coaches some different examples of how Davis can be best deployed.

“[Coaches] know that I have one year at corner and that I’m raw, but I want to keep showing them that I’m long and I can do it with more practice and experience,” he said. “I’m flying around on defense, coming downhill making tackles in 9-on-7 drills and all of that. I’m trying to show that I have love for the game, I’m versatile and I can do whatever they want me to do.”

For the Chargers, who will add at least two safeties this offseason to replace Wilson and Eric Weddle, the greater need is clearly at safety. Davis would seem like a natural fit at strong safety, where he has the ferocity to be an intimidating in-the-box defender and the size-speed combination to cover tight ends.

The ability to slide over to corner in a pinch is a big selling point, too, especially with starters Jason Verrett and Brandon Flowers struggling to stay off the injury report.

“I definitely feel comfortable at safety, but then again, I do like corner,” Davis said. “I only have one year at [corner], but I feel like I can be valuable there. I’m a big guy and I’m fast and I’m quick like a corner. I’m not just a safety playing corner … I can be a corner or I can be a safety.”

Davis is a candidate not only to replace Weddle or Wilson, but to take over for another safety, Darrell Stuckey, as San Diego’s top special teams maven.

Davis started all four years on special teams at Maryland. There were younger players itching for a shot on the coverage teams, but Davis believes the best man for the job should be the one to take on the challenge. At Maryland, the best man was Davis, which he proved by wreaking havoc in the third phase.

“Even as a senior, I was starting on gunner and doing kickoffs, jamming,” he explained. “I love special teams and I’m humble, so I don’t mind doing it. As a four-year starter, I still started four years on special teams.”

His ability to punish kick returners is certainly a nice bonus, but if the Chargers are to draft Davis (he is projected to go anywhere between Rounds 3-5), it will be because of what he can do on defense.

Davis is confident he can provide a stellar return on investment. And if the Chargers need him as a Week 1 starter in place of Weddle, he’s ready for that, too.

“I feel like I have the size and speed NFL teams are looking for,” he said. “I don’t back down from a challenge and I don’t back down from bigger opponents. That’s definitely my mindset wherever I land, that I’m going in ready to play Day One.”

About Michael Lombardo

Michael Lombardo has covered the San Diego Chargers since 2003. He spent 12 years covering the team for Scout.com and has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports, Football Insiders and MySpace Sports.

Recommended for you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *