USC running back Justin Davis needs to make the most of his 2017 NFL Combine experience after missing the chance to shine due to injury at the East-West Shrine game.
Jusin Davis finished his USC football career with 2,465 yards, putting him 12th on USC’s all-time rushing list.
That’s rare company he shares despite starting just 15 games in his career — in large part due to nagging injury trouble.
Though the spotlight never shined too brightly on Davis at USC, the 2017 NFL Combine will present the steady running back with the opportunity to raise his star in Indianapolis.
Scouting Report and Draft Stock
As a potentially late-round pick, Davis hasn’t gotten much attention ahead of the NFL Combine.
Part of that is due to his injury trouble. He was scratched from the East-West Shrine game due to the ankle injury he exacerbated during the Rose Bowl, limiting his ability to make an impression like some of his teammates.
Davis’ reasonably productive career earned him some accolades, but there’s not enough there for scouts to drool over.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com praised his “good open field vision and elusiveness,” noting his “desired speed and athleticism at the position.”
Ultimately, however, Zierlein summed up Davis as “a garden-variety, replaceable runner.” He knocked Davis for “lack[ing] authority as a runner” and ball security problems.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller called Davis a potential hidden gem at the tail end of the draft, which is where most observers expect him to go.
At DraftAnalyst.com, Tony Pauline lists Davis as a potential fifth round pick. However, CBS Sports’ prospect rankings have Davis as the 32nd-best running back and failing to be drafted.
What Can He Improve at the Combine?
The biggest question for Davis in Indianapolis will be his ability to participate. Last year, Tre Madden, who had troublesome injury history as well, was unable to run drills or do physical testing beyond the bench press because he was coming off of knee surgery.
More from Reign of Troy
- Markese Stepp enters transfer portal intending to leave USC football
- USC football’s Alijah Vera-Tucker declares for NFL Draft
- USC football adds Xavion Alford as transfer from Texas
- USC Podcast: RoT Radio Ep. 396 on the Football Season’s Fallout
- Talanoa Hufanga named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, USC football with five first-teamers
Davis’ ankle injury isn’t as big of a concern, but it could limit him from turning heads if it hampers his participation.
Should he pass the medical side of things, Davis could put up a decent number in the 40-yard dash as a former sprinter.
Since there are concerns about the power side of his game, the running back could help himself by weighing in with some added muscle.
Beyond the physical side of the Combine, Davis is likely to shine during interviews with a bright and genuine personality, which could give him a needed boost.