In the 2021 NFL Draft, the defensive line class saw a significant drop-off from the 2020 class. Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw were taken in the top 15 picks in 2020, with Ross Blacklock going early in the second round. Unfortunately, the 2021 draft saw no defensive lineman taken in the first round, and Christian Barmore was the first off the board with the 38th pick, followed shortly by Levi Onwuzurike. The NFL was hoping for a stronger class in the 2022 class than they did in 2021. Unfortunately, that may not be the case.
While there are two standouts in Demarvin Leal and Jordan Davis, there is a significant drop after those two. Davis finishes a dominant 2021 campaign this coming Monday against Alabama for the CFP Championship following a season where he had 30 tackles, including four for losses and two sacks. Davis was a diamond in the rough, only a three-star recruit and the 29th-ranked defensive tackle in the 2018 recruiting class. Now, Davis sets his sights on the NFL Draft, where he could be picked within the top 20 picks.
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Name: Jordan Davis
Jersey: No. 99
Position: Defensive Tackle
Weight: 340 lbs
Games Watched: Kentucky (2021), Clemson (2021), Alabama (2021)
Major Injury History: None
Block Shedding (12.5/15)
Davis is very aggressive at the line of scrimmage. He has a lot of power behind his hands that enable him to shuck linemen off him with ease. Along with that power, he is quite nimble for his stature, and he can move quickly from one side to the other. His favorite move is a swim move to get over the linemen.
Strength at Line of Scrimmage (15/15)
There is only one word for Davis in this regard, and that is dominant. He can pinball his way into offensive linemen and immediately push them back towards the backfield. Davis can walk a center or guard three-to-five yards into the backfield regularly to disrupt the quarterback to running back exchange or cause the quarterback to abandon the pocket. His hand power gives him an immediate advantage off the line of scrimmage with a dominant pop to send the lineman backward. Because of this, Davis is by far the best run defending defensive tackle in this year’s class.
Pass Rush Skills (13/15)
Despite only having seven career sacks in four years for the Bulldogs, there is more to the story than just the sack totals. Davis consistently demands double teams from interior offensive linemen, which opens the door for the other dominant players on the Georgia defense. With that said, there are plenty of times where Davis has used a swim move to get through the offensive lineman on his way to the quarterback. He has astonishing athleticism and quickness for a player of his size.
Davis has the most power of any defensive lineman in the class, and he uses it to his advantage every play. He punishes offensive linemen and moves them into the quarterback’s lap. Davis gets plenty of pressure, which forces the quarterback to step up into the pocket, where any of the other Georgia playmakers can finish off the play that Davis forced.
For most defensive linemen, it is difficult to be consistent on a play-to-play basis. For Davis, it is even more difficult because of his size. While he did get better in this regard during the 2021 season, there were still plenty of moments where it was clear that Davis was tired. He would almost catch the offensive lineman in his grasp and become stagnant and slowly walk his feet. Most teams will probably find no issue with this as they will attempt to have Davis on a snap-count early in his career.
For as much power as Davis has, he also has some burst to him. He is quicker than fast, which is why opposing offensive linemen struggle with him right from the snap of the ball because he’s already ahead of where the linemen expect him to be. Davis beat multiple double teams because the follow-up lineman was too slow to get a piece of him.
Length Usage (9.25/10)
Davis is a monster. There are no other words for it. He long-arms players into the backfield and is a disruptor in every facet of the game. His strength is superb, and he shows it off by mauling any offensive linemen in front of him. Davis is one of the biggest prospects to come to the NFL since Brown, and both are very similar prospects. Davis is quite the physical specimen, and his strength is by far the best in the class.
For a player of his size, Davis is uber-athletic. He has superb strength, which enables him to walk offensive lineman back into the quarterback and running back exchange, or the quarterback, which forces him to move up into the pocket. Davis’s burst off the line of scrimmage is a massive factor in how he can win against opposing linemen. He was almost always double-teamed throughout the 2021 season, but there were multiple times where Davis would beat the second-man in the double-team with his quickness.
Football IQ (8.5/10)
Davis has a very good understanding of reading run concepts and screens. There were many times where Davis would be entrenched in a battle with one of the offensive linemen and would look into the backfield and see where the running back was, and where his eyes were looking, and react as a result.
Davis is a fun study. While many look at his height and weight and think of him as just a run-stuffer, that is far from the truth. He is a dominant factor rushing the passer as well, although it doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. Davis will take up continuous double-teams for whoever selects him in the draft, which will open up ways for other defenders to make plays on the quarterback and in the run game. Despite those double-teams, he will still make insane plays.
There is hardly a weakness in his game. The only one that can be considered a weakness may be his consistency, which is to be expected for a man of his size. Davis was played as a nose tackle, and also as a 1-technique; and 3-technique. At the next level, this could also be something teams look into, which is moving him along the defensive line a bit. The hype is well-warranted for the dominant Georgia defensive tackle.
Rookie Projection: Two-Down 3-Technique
Third Year Projection: All-Pro 3-Technique
Final Grade (87.5/100): Mid First Round
Player Comp: Derrick Brown