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Friday, May 4, 2012
Rex: Rookie LB a little like Ray Lewis

By Rich Cimini

The expectation level for rookie LB Demario Davis just increased by ... oh, 200 percent.

Soon after the first practice of the Jets' three-day minicamp, Rex Ryan gushed about Davis' leadership qualities, saying the third-round pick from Arkansas State reminds him of (please keep a straight face) Ray Lewis.

"I'm not saying Demario is that guy -- there's only one Ray Lewis, but it’s interesting," Ryan said. "His face, mannerisms, passion -- I see some things, and it’s interesting."

So now you're thinking, "How did he learn all that in just one practice?" The Jets did a lot of pre-draft homework on Davis, including an intensive round of interviews. They brought him in for a visit and had him meet with every level of the organization, from scouts to coaches to management. They all came away impressed, according to Ryan.

Ryan said Davis has the ability to be a natural leader, a la Lewis. Ryan, of course, knows Lewis from his days as a Ravens assistant. He wasn't there for Lewis' rookie year, but he heard the stories.

"It's easy to say, 'Well, this guy was a leader for his football team,'" Ryan said. "But does he have that thing where he can lead men? That’s rare, and some guys have it. Ray Lewis had it when he came in. The day he walked into Baltimore, he was the leader of that defense."

The weight on Davis' shoulders just got a lot heavier.