GREEN BAY - He’s a blur, running a 4.41-second 40-yard dash. He hardly ever drops the ball, gets the yards after catch, can play three places in two phases of the game and comes from a spread offense led by an elite quarterback, top overall pick Jared Goff.
No wonder the Green Bay Packers pounced on Trevor Davis in the fifth round Saturday.
Going heavy with defensive selections in the earlier rounds of the draft, Green Bay simply could not pass up the 6-foot-1, 189-pound receiver out of California.
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“Any time you can get a weapon in the fifth round, you have to try and do that,” said Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf. “He was still sitting there on the board and we were fortunate enough to pick him.”
And now Green Bay’s fortunes, even apparently without the return of veteran James Jones, are rich at wide receiver. Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis, Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery all vie to ride shotgun in Aaron Rodgers’ offense, and the latter two have proven to be worthy kick and punt returners.
Davis must find his way onto this team. Either as a receiver or as a returner.
The speed should help. At the scouting combine, his 40 time was the third-fastest among wideouts. He and the Packers guessed he probably tested at a faster time — “We had him in the mid-4.3 range,” said Wolf — in another work out for scouts.
“It was a learning process — running with perfect form and things like that, a lot of track things,” said Davis. “For the most part, I’ve always been known as a faster guy, but I’ve had to work at it.”
In 23 games including 11 starts with the Cal Bears, Davis had 1,071 yards and seven touchdowns on 64 catches. He had even more — 1,110 yards — on 45 kick returns. He could return punts, too, with 115 yards on 14 returns. Wolf believed he had only two drops last season.
His best game probably was in a loss to Stanford, when he had seven catches for 80 yards and six kick returns for 111 yards. Wolf said he could run through the middle as well.
“He ran a lot of bubble screens there for Cal and took some pretty big hits in there. And pretty good after the catch as well,” said Wolf. “A lot of the guys we’ve had in the past have been returners in college and those guys are always better at the YAC, and that’s something that we look for.”
Davis played at Hawaii in 2011-’12 and had 45 catches for 601 yards. He then transferred to Cal and redshirted in the 2013 season.
“I knew that at Cal, I knew they had a lot of young receivers like Bryce Treggs, Kenny Lawler, Maurice Davis and all these guys, and I wanted to go in somewhere that was going to challenge me,” he said.
“I went in there without a scholarship for the first semester. I just knew that I was going to have to compete every single day, and it could only make me better. I’m going up against a bunch of guys that are right now in this draft, and great receivers. It definitely worked out for the best.”
Davis grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and went to Alhambra High School in Hawaii. He was a fan of Rodgers, who also played at Cal, but has never met him. During his redshirt season at Cal in 2013, Davis was a teammate of Green Bay tight end Richard Rodgers.
Now he’s ready to join the California green and gold rush in Wisconsin. He seems unfazed by the reputation of the winters.
“I’m perfectly fine with the cold,” said Davis. “I actually love the snow and snowboarding. I love the snow a lot. I can deal with any kind of weather.”