There are flashier defensive tackles out there, but ex-Fresno State star Tyeler Davison is gaining traction ahead of this year’s NFL Draft.
It began at last month’s NFL Combine and continued Wednesday as Fresno State hosted Pro Day — the Bulldogs’ version of the annual one-day events offered at colleges nationwide, allowing local pro prospects another chance to impress the scouts.
Davison already had opened eyes at the combine, where he was among the top five at his position in most categories. For his Pro Day workout at Bulldog Stadium, he concentrated on improving his 40-yard dash time. He was clocked in 5.10 seconds Wednesday, compared to 5.18 at the combine.
Better but not good enough, at least by Davison’s standards.
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“No, not really,” he said. “I wanted to run a 4.9-5.0. I could’ve done better, but 5.1 isn’t too bad so I’m not too disappointed. It was a solid day. ”
In preparation, Davison had trained at Cal State East Bay.
“Build more muscle,” Davison said of his training goals. “Back there lifting weights and working on the field.”
Davison also has worked out for the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals and has more visits lined up. Among the latest to make contact was Miami.
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. projects Davison to go in the middle rounds of the draft, which is April 30-May 2 in Chicago. USC’s Leonard Williams and Washington’s Danny Shelton are among the biggest names at defensive tackle, with both considered first-round locks.
Davison has “great versatility. very long arms, big hands and has tremendous upper-body strength,” according to Kiper’s analysis. “Kid who’s going to fit and make the team and contribute because of his versatility.”
Improvements in the 40 and other drills could help boost Davison’s stock and push him further up the draft board, but the Phoenix native said “it’s not the end of the world if I don’t go really high.”
Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter said Davison, listed at 6-2 and 309 pounds on the Bulldogs’ roster, has done enough to prove he belongs in the NFL.
“I think the NFL looked at him and early on they had some questions,” DeRuyter said. “Now they’ve warmed up to him and I think he really did a nice job working at the combine.”
Davison said he talked to a couple of dozen teams at the combine, including the Oakland Raiders and new defensive line coach Jethro Franklin — another former Fresno State star.
“It’s not how you started, it’s how you finish,” Davison said “I know this is the beginning. Of course I want to be drafted as high as I can, but it’s not necessarily the most important part. Getting drafted is not the endgame. It’s what you do In the NFL.”