2-24-2001 BY GEOFF HOBSON
INDIANAPOLIS _ The Bengals' prized left tackle prospects barely broke a sweat Friday here at the NFL scouting combine.
But while Leonard Davis of Texas broke a record, Kenyatta Walker of Florida tried to break a wall and Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander broke into smiles over both.
Davis, the Longhorns' 370-pound answer to the Alamo, stunned the combine scouts when he hoisted 225 pounds 33 times with 36-inch long arms that are tailor made for pass blockers to fend off quick pass rushers.
He's the first offensive lineman Alexander has seen with a 36-inch reach, a number apparently only reached by defensive ends Jevon Kearse and Alonzo Spellman.
There were the 35 inches Bengals right tackle Willie Anderson measured at the combine five years ago, but. . .
"Impossible with long arms," said Alexander after watching the 6-5 Davis lift. "An amazing feat. . .What he has is explosion like no player I've seen."
Walker is also 6-5 and weighs 60 pounds less than Davis. When he was upset with doing just 24 reps with 225 pounds, Walker started punching walls and cursing.
"That was impressive," Alexander said. "Guys never do that. . .He cares about it. He's a competitor."
About the only thing Davis and Walker have in common is the Bengals could pick either one with the fourth pick in the April 21 first round of the NFL Draft.
That and they've got plenty of "big feet," stories.
(Either one will give Anderson's size 19 a run for the Bengals' largest shoe ever record. Walker is an 18. Davis says he's a 19 in Nike and 17 in Reebok.)
And both have more stories than a network afternoon.
How Davis was driving a tractor when he was three years old and how Walker
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had to stop playing soccer when he was 13 because he couldn't find soccer shoes that were size 13.
When Davis was 13, he was 300 pounds and ran over five kids at once for a touchdown when a kickoff went short during a junior high game.
Walker went from 200 pounds to 240 his senior year so quickly his mother thought coaches were feeding him steroids.
But they're different players and guys.
Davis is an affable, spare speaking child of the small Texas town of Wortham and its 1,200 people.
Walker is a fiery, loquacious sort who sat out this past season's opener after getting thrown out of the Citrus Bowl for fighting.
"I'm a mean, nasty, aggressive lineman," Walker said. "If they swing, you can't be afraid. . . I'm out there to do my job and not be embarrassed. Stuff just went down. That's how it went.
"It depends what a team wants," Walker said. " Do you want 370 or 311 (pounds)? It's what you want."
All Alexander wants is a left tackle who doesn't get his quarterback drilled. He could see either one playing in Cincinnati.
Davis has the slight edge because Walker played right tackle for all but his freshman season at Florida.
"It's an issue," Alexander said. "Will he learn it pretty quick? I think so because he's a tremendous athlete."
Alexander also loves the fact Walker had a grade point average in the 3.0 range, was a two-time Academic All-American, and is "very attuned to professional football and players. He has awareness."
But Alexander is also aware that Davis' size and reach makes his smooth footwork and balance all that more impressive. Alexander also likes his good-guy, work ethic demeanor he inherited from his preacher-farmer father.
Alexander's one fear is weight, even though Davis wears 370 pounds like Walker wears 311.
"That's a concern," Alexander said. "I would recommend he go in lighter. Is it 350? I don't know. Especially for a rookie. It only takes getting tired one time and the quarterback gets killed."
What do you like?
Alexander will need the 56 days left to the draft to decide.