2008 NFL Draft Update: Davis Selected By Chicago In Fifth Round
April 27, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Former Michigan State tight end Kellen Davis has been selected by the Chicago Bears in the fifth round of the 2008 National Football League Draft Sunday, April 27. Davis, the No. 23 pick in the fifth round and the No. 158 selection overall, becomes the first Spartan tight end to be drafted since 2002 when Chris Baker went in the third round (No. 88 overall) to the New York Jets.
The 6-6, 252-pound Davis, who set career highs for receptions (32), receiving yards (513) and touchdowns (6) in 2007, participated in the 2008 Under Armour Senior Bowl.
The Adrian, Mich., native played extremely well down the stretch, with 18 of his 32 catches coming over the last five games (281 yards and 3 TDs during that stretch). His 32 receptions exceeded the combined total from his first three seasons. He caught at least one pass in 15 consecutive games, dating back to the 2006 season.
As a senior, Davis also had the opportunity to showcase his athleticism and versatility while seeing limited action at defensive end. He recorded six tackles, including two sacks (12 yards) while being utilized primarily as a designated pass-rusher. Davis recorded a sack in back-to-back games against UAB and Bowling Green. He played double-digit snaps on defense against Pittsburgh (13), Notre Dame (11) and Boston College (20).
Davis was rated as the No. 62 prospect overall in the 2008 NFL Draft by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.
"Kellen Davis is a mismatch tight end," MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. "He was utilized as both a possession receiver as well as a guy that could go down the field and make plays. Kellen played in a balanced offense, so he played a critical role as a blocker for a power, gap-oriented running team that rushed for nearly 2,600 yards.
"Kellen also impressed me as a student of the game because he was basically a two-way player last year. He was versatile enough to have an impact on defense as a pass-rusher."
"I'm excited about being selected by the Chicago Bears," Davis said. "It's a storied franchise and a great city. Chicago has a good football team that is preparing to take its game to the next level and return to the Super Bowl.
"Chicago was really impressed with my all-around game and the versatility that I bring to the table. The Bears normally carry three tight ends on their roster, so I should have an opportunity to earn some playing time right away. We talked a little about getting some snaps on the defensive side of the ball. I wouldn't mind getting a shot to play a little defense. That would be cool too.
"It's been a difficult day, a little nerve-racking, especially since I was projected higher in the draft. The wait is over and I'm excited about the way things turned out. I'm looking forward to getting to work and proving myself at the next level."
Davis led the Spartans with four catches for 38 yards against No. 14 Boston College in the Champs Sports Bowl, including an 18-yard TD reception from Brian Hoyer to open the scoring. He also caught a two-point conversion pass from Hoyer against BC as MSU pulled to within 24-21 with 6:04 left in the fourth quarter.
Davis recorded the first 100-yard receiving game of his career in the regular-season finale against Penn State, with four receptions for 106 yards. His 23-yard grab from Ryan Allison set up a touchdown midway through the third quarter as the Spartans pulled to within 10 at 24-14.
He caught three passes for 47 yards in MSU's 48-31 victory at Purdue, including a 2-yard TD grab from Hoyer in the second quarter. Davis had four catches for 47 yards against Michigan, including a 5-yard scoring toss from Hoyer early in the fourth quarter. He also had three receptions for 43 yards at Iowa.
His 25-yard reception from Hoyer set up Michigan State's final touchdown in its 52-27 Homecoming victory over Indiana. Davis also picked up 24 yards on a tight-end around in the third quarter against the Hoosiers.
He had two receptions for 33 yards against Notre Dame, with both catches resulting in TDs. His 3-yard TD grab from Hoyer late in the first quarter gave MSU the lead for good at 14-7. Late in the third quarter, Davis iced the game by scoring on a 30-yard strike from Hoyer on a fourth-and-2 play.
Davis caught two passes for 38 yards in MSU's 17-13 victory over Pittsburgh, including a career-long 32-yard reception from Hoyer that set up Jehuu Caulcrick's 2-yard touchdown run. He had three catches for 23 yards in MSU's 28-17 victory over Bowling Green, including a 7-yard TD grab from Hoyer in the second quarter that tied the game at 14. Davis caught two passes for 44 yards in the 2007 season opener against UAB, including a 25-yard grab from Hoyer that set up MSU's second TD.
A four-year letterman, Davis appeared in 43 career games, including 22 starting assignments. He had 60 career receptions for 789 yards (13.2 avg.) and nine TDs.
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