In 2006, Jason Davis was signed as a rookie free agent out of Illinois, but he spent the entire season on Injured Reserve after suffering a knee injury in the first preseason game. Last year, Davis spent the season on the practice squad after losing out to Thomas Tapeh in training camp. But now that Tapeh is with the Minnesota Vikings, it is time to see if the 24-year-old Davis can fill the vacated role at fullback.
Davis started at fullback for two years at Illinois and finished his college career with 67 receptions for 602 yards and two touchdowns. As a junior, he caught 41 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns. The 5-10, 245-pound Davis also ran the ball 49 times for 230 yards and a touchdown.
At the start of the spring minicamps, it looked like free agent signing Dan Klecko was going to compete with Jason Davis and rookie free agent Jed Collins for the fullback position. But on June 7, the Eagles traded a 2009 conditional draft pick to the Indianapolis Colts for Luke Lawton.
Lawton appeared in 11 games for the Colts in 2007 as a reserve running back, fullback and special teamer. Originally signed by Buffalo as a rookie free agent in 2004, Lawton spent time on the Bills and Giants practice squads during his rookie season. He was also a member of the Jets practice squad for most of the 2005 season, but did play in four games on special teams. Lawton spent most of the 2006 season on the Colts practice squad.
Collins capped off a four-year career at Washington State with career highs in receptions (52), yards (512) and touchdowns (3) as a senior. However, he played at tight end not fullback.
For his career, the 6-1, 255-pound Collins totaled 80 catches for 899 yards and six touchdowns, while scoring twice on the ground in the Cougars' spread offense. He was originally recruited as a linebacker to WSU, played his first two seasons as a fullback and linebacker before switching to tight end prior to his junior year.
JUST A YEAR AGO ...
Thomas Tapeh, the only fullback on the Eagles roster, ran the ball five times in 2007 for 18 yards while catching eight passes for 50 yards.
BATTLE TO WATCH:New comer Luke Lawton and rookie Jed Collins will be pushing Jason Davis all through training camp. Davis still has to prove he can make the jump from practice squad to starting fullback.