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Monday, August 4, 2014
Mike Davis running with chip on shoulder

By Paul Gutierrez

Yes, Mike Davis was surprised that his phone stayed silent throughout the three-day NFL draft in May. After all, as the former Texas receiver saw things, “All through college, I was one of the best deep threats in the country.”

Davis finished his college career with 200 catches for 2,753 yards and 18 touchdowns, ranking fourth, fourth and fifth, respectively, in Longhorns history. Jordan Shipley and Roy Williams are the only two other Texas players with at least 200 receptions and 2,700 receiving yards.

And yet ... Davis’ phone mocked him.

“I was very surprised,” he said. “But I knew, this is not the end of the road.”

Not with the Oakland Raiders ending the radio silence by calling him and signing him as a free agent on May 16.

He has shown the occasional flash since signing, and on Friday he sparkled with a pair of long bomb touchdown catches. On the first, he hauled in a strike from Derek Carr to beat TJ Carrie. On the second, Matt McGloin found him as Davis outran Chance Casey.

“I’ve seen some good things out of [Davis] and I’ve seen some improvement out of him,” said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. “The thing with all young players, I’m looking for more consistency and I think he’ll get that as he continues to get reps and continues to get the work.”

Davis is no sure thing to make the 53-man roster and is probably a better practice-squad candidate, what with the likes of James Jones, Denarius Moore, Rod Streater, Andre Holmes, Greg Little, Brice Butler and Juron Criner all purportedly ahead of him on the depth chart.

But the Raiders do not have that prototypical slot receiver on the roster. And at 6-foot, 189 pounds with speed, Davis might be able to make his mark there.

“That’s what I love doing, running through [defenders] and going deep, but I can also go in the slot, be responsible for the linebackers and run routes,” he said.

“I just have to do what I can do. Compete. Obviously, I didn’t get drafted so it’s a chip on my shoulder, no doubt.”