Our very own Justin Jaksa was able to talk to some 2024 NFL Draft prospects at the Senior Bowl this year! Here is a conversation between Jaksa and Kentucky RB Ray Davis:
Justin: How are you doing, Justin Jaksa.
Davis: Ray Davis
Justin: I’m here with Ray Davis, we are at the Senior Bowl. Ray, nice practice out there today. It looked like you had a good time out there, you’re having fun. What are some things you are looking to achieve here at the Senior Bowl? What are some of those boxes you want to check off as you go further into the draft process?
Davis: For sure, man. To get better at pass protection, be able to protect the money maker which is our quarterbacks. A lot of guys nowadays don’t want to protect, and that’s just something you have to be able to enhance in your game. But also to show that I’m a versatile back. I can catch the ball, I can run the ball, I can protect. I can be a three-down back for any organization that needs it. But to come out here and just have fun, man, to keep my head down, just stay humble, and just keep working. Try to continue to prove the world wrong. You know, I’m not a big name in this running back class, but to me, it’s about holding myself to a higher standard and achieving what I got to achieve.
Justin: It looked like during the pass blocking drills, your individual drills there, you guys, the running backs, were getting after it there, kind of working on your craft. Is that a fair assessment today?
Davis: Yeah, for sure. We went up against some really good linebackers, these guys are technically sound. They are big guys, they’re fast, and they’re strong, so they’re just helping us improve our game, and vice versa, we are helping them improve their game. Our running back coach, you know, he taught us a lot of good techniques in the beginning of practice and we are just trying to apply that technique.
Justin: Ok, running the ball and catching the ball, you do it all. You do both of the elements, right? Is there one that you feel better about? Your receiving statistics are impressive, as are your rushing. Just talk about that, the combination, how you look at it?
Davis: Yeah for sure, you gotta look at the running backs nowadays, it’s no more just get the ball and run straight. You know everybody gotta be the next CMC, everybody gotta be the next Alvin Kamara, the Austin Ekelers, the Aaron Jones-es. To be able to be versatile in the pass game. You want to be a three-down back, but you also want to make the DC have nightmares about you because he has to figure out can he go man, can his linebackers, can his nickel SAMS, can his corners be able to handle a running back out of the backfield if you put us in the slot, if you have us do scats. I wanna be able to make a DC have to worry about me at all facets of the game, not just running the ball, and I take pride in that. Even pass protecting, knowing that if you want to send your best linebacker at me, I’m going to do my very best to protect our quarterback. Just to be able to have all three facets of the game to make it very challenging for my opponent and also for the opposing DC.
Justin: That DC won’t know what you guys are going to do when you’re in there. Sometimes a running back might be in there and they know it’s a pass, they know it’s a run. If you’re in there, they’re not going to know, right?
Davis: Yeah, that’s the good thing about it. To be able to have the element of surprise.
Justin: Anybody that you try and look up to in the NFL?
Davis: Yeah, for sure. I’m big on the guys, I don’t like the big star names. I like Jaylen Warren of the Steelers, that’s a guy who’s battled, who’s persevered. He’s behind a future Hall of Famer with Najee Harris, a guy who’s an All-Star himself, and to be able to be an underdog and go out there and achieve the reps that he gets and play hard. That’s a guy that I want to emulate my game behind.
Justin: I appreciate you taking some time, I wish you the best of luck. You had a great practice out there today.
Davis: Yes sir I appreciate it!
Justin: Keep it up and good luck here, the rest of the way at the Senior Bowl as well.
Davis: Thank you so much!