New York Jets Select Red Wolves' Demario Davis With 77th Pick In NFL Draft

by Chris Bahn  on Saturday, Apr. 28, 2012 7:56 am  

ASU's Demario Davis was picked No. 77 overall by the New York Jets. He was a third-round pick, the first player with in-state ties selected in the 2012 NFL Draft. (Photo by Arkansas State)

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Any call would have been a good one for Demario Davis on Friday.

But when the New York Jets called to inform him he’d been picked 77th overall in the NFL Draft, Davis felt an additional sense of satisfaction.

Davis enjoyed a comfort level with the Jets throughout the months leading up to the draft. They’d scouted him at Arkansas State, watched him in the Senior Bowl and met with him in person several times since the NFL Combine.

"I just kept my mind open because I didn’t know who it would be. A lot of teams showed a lot of interest," Davis said in a conference call with media. "The Jets told me they really liked me a lot, but I was just ready for whoever called. I’m glad they called because I wouldn’t want to be with anybody but the New York Jets.

Jets officials were pleased with landing Davis, who projects as an inside linebacker in their scheme. He’s 6-foot-2, 235 pounds and runs a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash, that should measurably improve the team’s defensive speed.

Davis, the first player with Arkansas ties selected, finished the season with 70 tackles, tying for the team lead. He racked up 230 tackles for his career, including 22.5 for loss and 7.0 sacks. Davis was also a force on special teams and his willingness to do more than play defense was appealing to pro scouts.

“You’re our kind of player,” Jets Coach Rex Ryan said during a phone call to inform Davis he would be the Jets' second pick of the draft’s second day.

Scouts for the Jets had their interest piqued by Davis, a three year starter at ASU, during the season. He stood out in games against bigger conference opponents like Illinois and Virginia Tech. Davis then made the most of a late invitation to the Senior Bowl where “he began to open more eyes,” vice president of college scouting Joey Clinkscales told New York media.

“We brought him on a visit and the more and more we saw of him, the more and more we liked what he could do,” Clinkscales said of the two-time all-Sun Belt Conference selection.

Davis joins North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples and Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill as Jets draft picks.

Arkansas State now has a string of six consecutive seasons with draft picks. Davis is part of a group that includes fullback Oren O’Neal, safety Tyrell Johnson, tight end David Johnson, defensive end Alex Carrington and offensive lineman Derek Newton.

Rounds 4-7 will be held Saturday. Safety Kelcie McCray, who led ASU with 70 tackles in 2011, is a potential pick on the draft’s final day.



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