Thursday, September 3, 2009

9/4 Sleeper of the Day: James Davis


Davis, a 5-11, 210-pound rookie from Clemson, has been getting rave reviews this preseason. He was once considered a first- or second-round draft pick coming out of college, but an all-around disastrous senior year with the Tigers combined with a lackluster combine relegated him to a sixth-round selection this spring. But he's begun to erase all that with a fine effort thus far as a pro, averaging 7.8 yards a carry through the Browns' first three preseason games and grabbing the attention of the media and new head coach Eric Mangini.

Meanwhile, starter Jamal Lewis hasn't exactly been Jim Brown out there on the heels of a less-than-impressive season in which he barely cracked 1,000 yards. It seems like a perfect situation in which the two backs are headed in opposite directions. Lewis should still be drafted ahead of Davis, of course, as he's No. 1 on the depth chart. But he's also a 30-year-old back who's taken years of abuse, and I expect him to continue his decline. Davis, on the other hand, has pretty much already surpassed the injured Jerome Harrison and risen to backup status. He's at least earned his way into some sort of timeshare this season and perhaps consideration as the Browns' RB of the future. He's certainly worth a look as a Lewis handcuff or a late-round selection in 12-team leagues at this point.

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