Gadzooks, Cleveland Browns TE Connor Davis can catch the ball!

Aug 22, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Giants linebacker Carter Coughlin (49) tackles Cleveland Browns tight end Connor Davis (86) during the first half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 22, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Giants linebacker Carter Coughlin (49) tackles Cleveland Browns tight end Connor Davis (86) during the first half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Earlier this season, Cleveland Browns tight end Connor Davis seemed to be a longer longshot than Tim Tebow.

What in the world is going on with Connor Davis? He was supposed to be a pure blocking tight end with zero pass-catching skills, but apparently, he did not get that memo. He looked absolutely fine for the Cleveland Browns against the Giants, and suddenly he is a threat to make the 53-player roster, after Stephen Carlson, unfortunately, went down with a knee injury last week.

At the beginning of the season, this author wrote a tongue-in-cheek article comparing the longshot odds of Connor Davis making the team to the odds of another tight end, Tim Tebow, formerly of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

That’s right, our guy is still standing, while their guy, despite his tremendous faith and perseverance, political connections, and despite the fact that many consider him to have been the greatest college football player of all time, is out of football, having been cut by Jags coach Urban Meyer last week. So much for owed favors.

However, if we are commending Tebow for his great faith and work ethic, Connor Davis has some stat lines that are utterly miraculous. First of all, versus the New York Giants, he caught four balls for 29 yards while alternating with Howard Franks at tight end. That might not sound like much, but consider that in college he only had six receptions for 41 yards in his entire four-year career for the Stony Brook University Seawolves in Long Island, New York.

Davis was brought in as a blocking tight end, at 6-foot-8 and 271 pounds, but, holy cow! What if he can catch footballs in addition to pushing around linebackers?

The Browns may really have someone here who can play. Needless to say, you cannot teach six-foot-eight and 271 pounds. He may be able to impose his will on a few people in the run game and out-jump and out-reach others for high passes.

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At Stony Brook, they had no idea what they had, playing him on the defensive line, offensive line, and tight end. He is unusual because he continued to develop after graduation and has been used on infomercials involving fitness products.

Most players make it in the NFL first, and then get endorsement deals; however, Davis apparently has an endorsement deal already from a product called CarnoSyn, which he credits with adding a foot to his broad jump compared to his Combine performance in 2018.

This is very possible, since few athletes actually peak at age 22, so NFL teams should probably keep an eye on prospects who are willing to stick it out and develop for a few years. Anyone who plays fantasy football realizes that players peak in their mid-20s, not when they are rookies, although there are exceptions, and there is the case of Tom Brady who is not human and does not count. But players who are not good enough to make the NFL at age 22 might very well be good enough at age 27 in some cases.

After graduation from Stony Brook, he has pursued his dream with single-minded determination. He did not try to play quarterback, nor did he play minor league baseball. He did get a minicamp tryout with the Giants but was not selected.

The next year, he tried out with the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football and made the team, joining former Brown Trent Richardson, as well as current Cleveland Brown Michael Dunn. Trent might not have been the greatest role model for Davis, but Dunn probably was and is. He is another guy who refused to give up.

The Iron also had center J.C. Hassenauer, who is currently sitting at the top of the depth chart for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season.

After the AAF folded, Davis won a job with the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL, only to have that league go into limbo due to Covid-19.

Last season Davis made the Jets’ practice squad.

If the Browns keep four tight ends this season, Davis could very well make it. In a small data sample, he has been very impressive as a blocker as well as a receiver. On the other hand, there is a logjam of talent at wide receiver and running back as well this season, and it is not clear that the Browns will in fact carry four tight ends even though they are presumed to favor a two-tight-end offense, which normally would justify four tight ends on the roster.

There are two many wide receivers with true talent this season. The Browns may try to work a trade to ease the congestion at this point, because they cannot keep everyone on the 53 player roster, and although they would be thrilled to put talented players on the practice squad, they have to be waived first, and other teams have the opportunity to claim them.

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As things stand today, as many as four players might be claimed by other teams at the end of summer camp.

*At press time Dawg Pound Daily learned Connor Davis has been placed on IR.  Upon further review of the video from the Browns/Giants exhibition game, it was evident that in the fourth quarter he was not moving his right arm at all and he made two catches one-handed, one of which was called back because of a penalty