Height: 6'1" Weight: 200 lbs
Drafted: Undrafted (2013)
Ever since Sean Taylor was prematurely taken from this world, the Washington Redskins have struggled to find a decent safety. Guys like Reed Doughty, Bacarri Rambo, Trenton Robinson and Akeem Davis have only received playing time because of Washington's inability to field a decent secondary, but an outstanding offseason (at least by Redskins standards) by new GM Scot McCloughan could rectify that. It could also mean guys like Davis are out of a job.
#1. In three seasons at Memphis, Davis recorded 153 tackles, including 13 for a loss, and added nine pass breakups, three interceptions, five forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and 2.5 sacks. He went undrafted in 2013 and was later featured on NFL Network's series Undrafted, in which he was the only of the six players on the show to eventually make a team's active roster.
#2. It's difficult to say how many other rosters Davis would have made, as Washington's safety situation was among the league's worst last year, but he played well in his limited time on the field and made a few standout plays on special teams.
#3. He went back and forth between the Redskins' active roster and practice squad throughout the season and ultimately played just five snaps on defense in 2014, but he recorded a pair of tackles in that limited opportunity. Davis made his mark on special teams by playing in 13 games and recording 10 tackles, but he had a few problems that need to be addressed moving forward; he was credited with three missed tackles and was flagged five times (including a 15-yard penalty for the hit against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second video above).
#4. Davis has a shot to claim the fourth safety spot, or the fifth if the Skins opt to carry five into the season, but he faces stiff competition. Barring injury or legal trouble, the first three spots are pretty much guaranteed to Dashon Goldson, Jeron Johnson and Duke Ihenacho. That leaves Davis to battle it out with rookie sixth-round pick Kyshoen Jarrett, Phillip Thomas, Trenton Robinson and DaMon Cromartie-Smith.
Jarrett is probably the favorite to earn the fourth spot simply on the merit of being a recent draft pick under the new GM, but sixth-round picks are certainly not guaranteed a roster spot. Thomas had perhaps the highest upside of the group, but he can't stay healthy long enough to reach his potential. Robinson has also struggled with injuries and is undersized, but he has some NFL experience. DMCS is the least likely to make the team, and at 28 years old, he offers the least upside.
At 6'1" and 200 pounds, Davis has a size advantage over Robinson and Jarrett. Davis has been mostly healthy throughout his career, giving him an advantage over Robinson and Thomas. At just 25 years old, he edges Cromartie-Smith. With most of a full season under his belt, he has an advantage on Jarrett, Thomas and DMCS. When all those factors are considered, Davis has perhaps the most upside of the group for the 2015 season.
#5. With the chance to make an NFL roster on the line, Davis left camp last year for the birth of his daughter, Carsyn. This year, Carsyn came to see her father at camp and celebrated her first birthday with the team. Davis, whose real name is Corinthian, was born on Christmas Day, 1989.
Bottom Line: As is typically the case for backup safeties, Davis must excel on special teams to warrant consideration for a roster spot. He did so last season, and though he had his flaws, he was one of the better special teams players on a questionable unit. Now with a year of experience under his belt, he has a legitimate shot to beat out the other four safeties and solidify his role going forward as a quality role player.