On a sunny Wednesday in College Park, Terps defensive back Sean Davis performed drills in front of NFL scouts on Maryland's Pro Day. In attendance at Maryland Stadium was his high school coach Mike Engelberg, who noted Davis' "smoothness" on field. "He's just so smooth," he said, "he just looks so effortless when he's moving. It's unbelievable to watch how he glides."
Even when he started to play for the Maret School's football team as a ninth grader, Davis "was a little guy when he came to Maret," Engelberg added, "but he's always been able to move like that."
Davis is a local kid. Washington, D.C. is his hometown and he attended a K-12 school in the city. Maret is not known as an athletic hotspot for scouts. The football team, when he was there, had about "twenty players" and the ones recruited usually end up in Ivy League, Patriot League or NESCAC schools, according to the Baltimore Sun. Davis, however, ended up in Maryland, a much bigger football program than what Maret is accustomed to.
On his path from being a small school kid to NFL Draft prospect, Davis embraced all the challenges. "I was overlooked. I was undersized coming from a very small school... it's been downhill-uphill since high school... but Maret is a good school and I love where I came from."
Four seasons, 319 tackles, seven forced fumbles and five interceptions later, Davis stood at Maryland Stadium in front of many scouts, running the 40-yard dash and routes. Draft expert Walter Cherepinsky has him going somewhere between the third and fifth rounds, and Davis is one of the team's top prospects along with defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and kicker Brad Craddock.
"It's like a dream come true man," Davis said, "I'm just blessed and embracing all the process right now."
Come the 2016 NFL Draft, the odds are that either Davis or Ngakoue will be the first Terp chosen. Cherepinsky predicts Ngakoue will go in the second or third round, so Davis has a slight chance of being chosen ahead of his teammate. His strong showing at the NFL Combine in late February should also help his draft stock.
After being playing at safety for the first three seasons in Maryland, Davis played cornerback in his senior year. Even though many evaluate him as a safety in NFL, Davis prides himself as a versatile defensive back. "I definitely like to play as corner. I got the quickness and speed to play cornerback compared to other DB's out there," he said. NFL teams "know I'm raw (at corner), I only got a year under my belt. But with the right tools, I think I can be a top cornerback."
Even though he would be happy with any NFL team on the draft, he beamed at the thought of being drafted by the Washington Redskins, the team he grew up rooting for.
"Obviously I can't choose which (team)," Davis said, "but I'd still love to play for the Redskins."
If Washington drafts him, the possibility of being their safety is an added bonus. He would love to follow the footsteps of the late Sean Taylor, the legendary Redskins safety whom Davis models his game after.
"That's the guy I idolized playing growing up," Davis added. "Loving the way how he hit people, instilling fear on receivers and how he made them think twice crossing the field. He was also a quiet guy but all about the business: that's pretty much my personality." For that reason, Davis also wears Taylor's number: 21.
It remains to be seen whether Davis' next career step will also take place in the DMV. He has few more private workouts left but commented that he's on the "tail end of things" in the pre-draft process.