Bess will give his best at combine
Unlike some players at the NFL Combine, Davone Bess won't be holding anything back.
Many prospects pick and choose whether they will run or lift for the scouts and league decision-makers. Bess, a relative unknown coming out for the draft as a junior, doesn't have that luxury.
It's against his nature, anyway.
"I have to let my work ethic speak for itself," said Bess, who arrived in Indianapolis yesterday from his training facility in Arizona. "I'm not into the predraft hype, I've always been under the radar. I'm just going to do my best."
The third-team AP All-American is marketing himself as a receiver and a punt returner, although his experience is somewhat limited in the latter. He will participate in return drills at the combine.
Bess was listed at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds by UH last year. His height might come out shorter when he's measured at the combine. But that's not considered a problem by scouts, who see a new demand for shorter, quick receivers.
"He's intriguing, because he fits the mold of a Wes Welker (of the Patriots), and other teams will be looking for that kind of player," one scout said. "I'm very curious about him."
If more teams emulate the Patriots' offense, which often uses three and four receivers, a player with Bess' experience as a slotback becomes valuable.
"To be compared to someone of (Welker's) caliber, that's definitely a compliment," Bess said.
He's also been compared to Carolina Panthers All-Pro Steve Smith.
Bess finished his three years at UH as one of the program's most productive receivers, with school records in receptions and touchdowns.
But because the Warriors threw the ball so much, some of Bess' extensive body of work will be discounted. Also, especially since he couldn't play in any all-star games, his stats will be questioned for degree of difficulty since most of the numbers weren't amassed against BCS conference competition.
Still, the NFL Draft advisory board saw enough to tell Bess he could go in the second round.
"He plays fast, he runs great routes, he has great hands and he gets great yards after the catch," said his agent, Kenny Zuckerman.
Bess admits he won't set any records in the 40 ("I'm not a track guy"), but he will likely score high in agility drills.
Also, while he shined in the community as much as on the field in his three years at Hawaii, Bess knows he will be asked again and again about his time in a correctional facility after high school and before his enrollment at UH.
"We did a lot of preparation for the interviews," Bess said.