O’Shaughnessy was playing well at the time of his injury; he would seem difficult for Davis to dislodge. But a training-camp battle between Jones, Oliver and Davis for the third (and likely last) tight-end spot seems a possibility. The Jaguars also signed an undrafted free agent at tight end, Ben Ellefson of North Dakota State, an FCS All-American.
“You always feel good about where you are from a standpoint of the players that you have,” Marrone said, “but you always want to create more competition and see if someone could beat somebody out.”
Davis and all rookies face a significant challenge in that almost certainly teams will not have the standard offseason series of minicamps and offseason workouts where rookies can learn their team’s plays and get acclimated to the NFL pace. They’ll have access to coaches through conference calls and can try to learn the playbook, but there’s no replacement for the learning done on the practice field.
“They’re going to have to come into training camp and go from there,” Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said. “They’ll be a little bit behind.”
Marrone praised Davis for having “a great skill set” and has “all the traits you’re looking for.” Davis showed at Tech that he can block, catch passes and play out of the slot, can line up in a three-point stance next to an offensive tackle, go in motion and position out wide as a wide receiver.
Davis was picked No. 206 overall. In the past two years, of the players drafted between 196 and 216, 27 of 42 were on their team’s opening-day roster. Many more were added to their team’s practice squad after getting cut. Chances are, if the Jaguars like Davis at the end of training camp as they do now, he’ll find a way to stay with the team through practice squad, where he can continue to develop.
But, that’s a long way off. He’ll have to come to camp as ready as he can, stay injury-free and be a quick study. In their draft-day conversation, Davis made an impression on Marrone, who pointed out to Davis that they are both New York guys, Marrone from the Bronx and Davis from Long Island.
“So he’s like, oh, that’s awesome,” Marrone said. “You know that us guys from New York, we’re some mean son of a guns.”
Marrone suggested that Davis didn’t quite say “son of a guns.”
“So I was like, all right, pretty cool,” Marrone said. “We’ll see. We’ll get a chance to see how mean you are when we get those pads on.”