Are the Cleveland Browns going into 2024 with running backs Nick Chubb, Jerome Ford, and Pierre Strong? Will Chubb be healed in time? Can Strong improve? Will Ford become a better back?
Maybe the Browns will draft a young guy who can help in the passing offense.
Our interviews with players focus on who should be available when the Browns draft in certain rounds.
RB Ray Davis – Kentucky
5’-8”, 220 pounds
Projected round: 3-4
DBN: The Senior Bowl has showcased many running backs that have eventually become stars like Bo Jackson, Tiki Barber, Walter Payton, Brian Westbrook, Chris Johnson, Thurman Thomas, Christian Okoye, Curtis Martin, and Fred Taylor. How do you fit into this group?
Davis: Legends played on this field. Legends were born on this field. There are many guys here who are going to have the opportunity to play in the NFL, and they are all going to look back at this experience. You have to take in this opportunity and go hard. To get to play the game you have been playing since you were a kid is a lifetime chance.
DBN: What do you tell young players what they need to do to get to each level?
Davis: Just hone in on your craft and be yourself. You don’t have to hold yourself to everyone’s expectations. Hold yourself to your own standard. At the end of the day if you achieve your dream, then the sky is the limit.
DBN: Have you achieved all of your goals?
Davis: For the time being I just have to persevere and keep fighting. I go against the odds and keep being myself. I don’t think I would be in this position if I didn’t keep betting on myself. You can’t believe what anybody says about you. There are some that don’t think I can make it at the next level. I am here to say I have come this far and can’t wait to show my skills at the highest level.
DBN: What will the NFL team who drafts you get?
Davis: I am a hard worker. I am not perfect, but I evolve every day. I try to get better each week and learn new things that will improve my production.
DBN: You have really good hands. How did you evolve into a pass catcher?
Davis: The hands have always been there as a little kid in Pop Warner. I got to play quarterback as a kid and then was a punt and kickoff returner. I had the opportunity to have a lot of balls come at me. As I got older and the game shifted to more of a passing offense, I was able to become part of that portion of the offensive immediately. I want the DC to have a hard time handling my game.
DBN: You are 24 years old. What advantage does that have with the extra experience?
Davis: I have been in college for five years and played in two conferences. I have seen and played a lot of college football. I don’t think age has anything to do with it. It’s just about taking care of your body. If that is an advantage and God gives me the opportunity to get on the field quickly, I am not afraid to learn and absorb knowledge from the guy ahead of me or play special teams.
DBN: It has been said that you are one of the most complete running backs in this year’s draft. What are some of the things you are focused on?
Davis: The ability to show my versatility. I can go out and catch balls all game, block whoever is the biggest threat coming from the defense, and then run through the open lanes when called upon. I want to showcase that I can be great in the slot and work against linebackers or a safety. I have shown that I can catch the ball well. They can trust me on third-down pass protection.
DBN: How would you describe your vision when running the ball?
Davis: I am elusive in my vision and my decision-making. You just have to trust me. You have to trust that I can go out and get the first down. I can get ahead of the sticks and get that tough short yardage.
DBN: What was the advantage of playing in the SEC?
Davis: This was the toughest conference and is only a level below the NFL. You have to prepare yourself each week physically as well as mentally because no matter which team you play, you are going to get hit. You have to fight just to get 50 yards. It was a good test for me as a running back. My elusiveness, my vision to bring my whole game around me. And you build relationships. But the SEC is blood, sweat, and tears on the field.