When the Indianapolis Colts placed a big emphasis on improving the secondary in the NFL Draft, Vontae Davis realized that his role was changing.
He’s the veteran cornerback, the one who’s played far and away the most snaps at the position and the one many young guys will look to for leadership. Davis understands that and is embracing that, as he said shortly after the draft that he wants to “lead by example” and has acknowledged that it’s up to him and Darius Butler to “keep the room together and be leaders and role models.”
The Colts’ rookies are excited to learn from Davis too.
“Yeah, definitely,” said Quincy Wilson, the Colts’ second round cornerback. “I’ve got with him already. I have some questions, bouncing some things off of him. I’m definitely going to spend a lot of time with him so I can learn the ropes and just hit the ground running.”
Davis’ message to Wilson was quite simple: “He just told me, ‘You better be ready to come in and work because there are positions there,’ and I just have to come in and compete,” Wilson said.
Similarly, the Colts’ fifth round pick, cornerback Nate Hairston, is looking forward to learning from Davis too.
“Vontae is a guy that is a veteran,” Hairston said. “He’s played this game at a high level, been to Pro Bowls. I just want to pick his brain and learn everything I can from him seeing as he is a vet who has played very well in this league.”
Wilson and Hairston are the two most prominent young cornerbacks on the roster right now because they’re the ones the Colts drafted this year, but there are plenty of other young players at the position too who will be trying to learn all they can from Davis, a two-time Pro Bowler who has played in 115 games in his NFL career.
It’s a very young position group, and that’s true of the rest of the secondary. The safety position is likewise young, outside of veteran Darius Butler, and it is also headlined by a notable draft pick in Malik Hooker. All throughout the secondary, Davis’ message to Wilson rings true: there are spots to be won. There are positions open, as Chuck Pagano admitted over the weekend that the secondary competition is “wide open back there.” As these young players continue to develop on the field, they’ll have the chance to learn from a veteran who has produced and has been there in Vontae Davis.