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Colts Get Thumping Safety In Florida's Shawn Davis

The Indianapolis Colts went back to the defensive side of the ball in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, selecting Florida safety Shawn Davis with the 165th-overall pick. What does Davis bring to the table?


INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts are adding some more physicality to the secondary.

The Colts on Saturday selected Shawn Davis, a safety from Florida, with their fifth-round (165th-overall) selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Davis, who stands at 5-foot-11 and weighs 202 pounds, is a "hard-hitting safety whose size, toughness and urgent demeanor will be appealing for NFL teams looking to add some attitude on the back end," according to his draft profile. He told the Indy-area media on Saturday, shortly after his selection, that he just loves to be around the action at all times.

"I'd say that's a (big) part of my game, just because the position that I play, you have to be very physical because you're the last line of defense," Davis said. "If you're not physical, then it's all going to be touchdowns coming from the back end on your part. So I make being physical a part of my game and one of my strengths."

Davis, a Miami, Fla., native, finished his Florida career with 124 total tackles (5.5 for a loss) with five interceptions, 10 pass breakups and one forced fumble and fumble recovery apiece in 37 games.

Although he missed five games due to injury as a senior last year, Davis still led the Gators with two interceptions and earned an invite in the Senior Bowl, where he picked off Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book's Hail Mary attempt at the goal line to end the third quarter.

The Colts have placed a huge emphasis on the Senior Bowl the past few years under general manager Chris Ballard, and the team was able to take advantage of an up-close-and-personal look at Davis at this year's event.

"Just being able to play football and getting better every day — I mean, it was a great experience for me, just being able to be coached by NFL coaches, seeing what it's like, and just having the experiences of playing with different people and all the great athletes in college football," Davis said of his week at the Senior Bowl. "It was a great experience for me."

Davis looks to add quality depth and talent to an already deep safety position for the Colts, who feature one of the better young starting duos in Khari Willis (strong safety) and Julian Blackmon (free safety). The team also has safeties George Odum, an All-Pro special teams performer in 2020, and Rolan Milligan, who elected to sit out the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as sixth-year veteran Ibraheim Campbell, 2021 free agent signee Sean Davis and Nick Nelson.

Davis could be in line to compete for a similar role played by Tavon Wilson last year. Wilson, a hard-hitting veteran, had 26 total tackles (two for a loss) with one pass defensed and one fumble recovery as a key piece of depth and spot starter for the Colts in 2020 before signing with the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent this offseason.

Davis could also be counted on to play a key role on special teams, as he was a core special teamer during all four of his years at Florida.

"I just felt like I was a great player in the draft, and whoever got me was getting a steal," Davis said. "I never knew I would end up in Indy, but, hey, it's a dream come true. I'm just ready to go out and ball."

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