When the whole draft process started, Nate Davis was a quarterback who lots of people were talking about. He led the Ball State Cardinals, a school that is better known for producing David Letterman than any NFL player, to a 12-0 start. People were praising him and calling him the next great quarterback to come from the MAC. Now March rolls along when you would expect Davis to show scouts why he should possibly be a first day pick at his pro day. In one of the worst possible scenerios, only one team shows up for his Pro Day. Here is what I think hurt Davis’ stock and will end up happening with him come draft time and how he will fair in the NFL.
Davis’ fall started in December. The Cardinals went on to lose their last two games and Davis didn’t look that impressive in either of them. He frequently turned the ball over and even played one of the games sick. This made teams very wary is Davis would have the instincts to become a starting quarterback. It only got worse at the combine. Davis measured in at 6’1 and while many scouts viewed him as an athletic quarterback, he clocked a 4.98 in the forty yard dash.
The only team who showed up at Davis’ pro day was the Indianapolis Colts. If any team selects Davis, this could be the best case scenario for him. Davis needs a team with a quarterback so he can sit behind him and learn the offense for the next two or three years. A team like the Colts could be a perfect fit. Peyton Manning will be entering his 12th year in the league and will probably only play two or three more years. By the time he retires, Davis will either be ready to take over the offense or they will need to draft a replacement. Considering Davis will most likely be a 4th-5th round pick, this move doesn’t have much downside for the Colts.
Overall, I think Davis could turn out to be a solid quarterback who needs at least two or three years to develop. He has the work ethic teams look for and is very coachable and is an accurate passer who can make throws on the run. Davis also compares very favorably to former Heisman trophy winner Troy Smith as they are both accurate outside the pocket. The only real difference is that Davis has a stronger arm. In the NFL, Davis could become a solid starter but will at least be a serviceable backup.