Davis Cheek’s colorful career path now has the quarterback looking to establish himself on the Carolina Panthers during the team’s 2022 training camp.
For all the talk about what exactly the Carolina Panthers were going to do at quarterback this offseason before landing Baker Mayfield, there was one player being overlooked. Davis Cheek arrived at the franchise in undrafted free agency after a colorful college career at Elon, but few are anticipating him to make the 53-man roster or even the practice squad unless monumental strides come around in training camp.
Being an afterthought in a less-than-stellar draft class isn’t exactly great cause for optimism where Cheek is concerned. However, the Panthers clearly saw enough to warrant a closer look this offseason with a view to becoming a bigger part of proceedings over time.
Cheek has an NFL arm and is capable of making every throw imaginable. There was a real zip on his throws in college and eye-catching athleticism in and out of the pocket is something else working in the player’s favor.
Obviously, there are some major flaws that must be refined. Cheek’s decision-making is sometimes suspect, pre-snap recognition needs work, and the signal-caller could also improve the touch on his throws all over the field.
Davis Cheek is eager to seize his opportunity with the Carolina Panthers
Little is expected of Cheek, in all honesty. But during a recent interview with Kole Noble from the Elon News Network, the quarterback is looking to make every opportunity count in Spartanburg.
"“The biggest differences just come in your opportunities. You just have to take advantage of your opportunities more so than someone who’s a top draft pick. There’s just more stock in that person. There is a little bit of added pressure there, but it’s your job to be able to deal with it and live with that.”"
With 8,600 passing yards and 57 combined touchdowns during his collegiate career, Cheek definitely has something. Had it not been for some troubling injury problems, then he might have heard his name called during the draft at some stage.
That is now in the rearview mirror. And the player’s chances have decreased significantly now that Mayfield has joined the ranks.
All Cheek can do is focus on what he can control.
What comes after that is out of his hands.
This will be an invaluable learning experience for Cheek whichever way it goes. It might not come around again given how exceptional the 2023 quarterback class appears to be, so finding a role and doing whatever is necessary remains the player’s objective in the hope that’s enough to stick around.
"That’s pretty much my only goal going into training camp just to provide whatever the team needs. Whether that be a locker room guy, whether that be someone who plays or someone who’s a backup. To me, it doesn’t really matter. I just want to be a part of the organization.”"
The chances of Cheek being a member of the active roster are minimal at best. But if the player can earn a place on the practice squad, it’s a foot in the door and gives him the chance to further hone his skill set rather than being cast aside entirely.
Cheek’s progress will be something to monitor. Even if there is also a scenario where the player doesn’t even make it to camp.