It’s hard to watch Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis play and not be impressed. It’s simply incredible to see a young man with his sheer mass move with his speed and agility.
Davis just stands out, even on a stacked defense full of athletic freaks.
But is that enough to overcome the stigma attached to players’ his size? Will teams see Davis as a versatile defender to be moved around the front, or will they see a 6-foot-6, 341-pound behemoth and see just another nose tackle? If it’s the former, he has the chance to be drafted high in the first round. If the NFL’s consensus is that Davis is a nose tackle, he could slide on draft night.
Potential questions about Davis’ positional value aside, he could be an intriguing fit in Wink Martindale’s defense. Davis’ athletic upside gives him rare versatility for a player his size to move around the defensive front. That said, his raw power could certainly help fill the Giants’ need for a true nose tackle.
Will the value be right to make this giant of a man a New York Giant?
Prospect: Jordan Davis (99)
Games Watched: vs. Florida (2021), vs. Alabama (2021 - SEC Championship Game), vs. Michigan (2021 - Orange Bowl), vs. Alabama (2022 - National Championship Game)
Games Played: 41
Tackles For a loss: 11.5
Passes Defensed: 1
Games Played: 14
Tackles For a loss: 5.0
Passes Defensed: 1
Best: Size, play strength, power, explosiveness, agility, run defense, disruptiveness
Worst: Stamina or conditioning questions
Projection: A starting interior defensive lineman with Pro Bowl potential.
Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis has an exceptional, and exceptionally rare, combination of size, explosiveness, and athleticism to play the position at the NFL level.
Davis primarily lined up as a nose tackle on Georgia’s defensive front, though thanks to the “multiple” nature of their front, his exact alignment differed depending on the personnel package. He usually lined up as a 1-technique or 0-technique defensive tackle, depending on whether he was asked to play a 1-gap or 2-gap technique on that particular play. It’s worth noting that he did also line up as a 3 or 4i-technique, and even played defensive end on occasion.
Davis’ size and evident play strength simply leap off the film and he often dwarfs opposing offensive linemen. His sheer mass belies rare explosiveness, and Davis is capable of firing out of his stance like a much smaller defensive tackle. He routinely plays with good leverage to maximize his already impressive play strength. Davis is often too much for a single blocker and is able to hold up double teams without giving an inch.
Davis is an excellent run defender who uses his hands, leverage, and power well to control blockers and discard them at will to make plays on passing ball carriers. He is able to use his long arms to make one-handed tackles if he isn’t able to completely shed a blocker in time. Davis also shows surprising range as a run defender, with incredible short-area quickness despite his massive frame. He also boasts rare speed for a player his size, with great hustle and agility in pursuit of ball carriers.
While he wasn’t asked to rush the passer often for Georgia, Davis does show some upside in that area. His explosive power allows him to push – and collapse – pockets as a nose tackle. Likewise, he is able to command double (or triple) teams to create free lanes for interior blitzers and one-on-one matchups for his fellow linemen. Davis is even able to generate some pass rush on his own, thanks to his lower-body explosiveness and solid hand technique. He is able to use a bullrush, with a push-pull or arm-over counter move, to beat blockers when attacking a single gap and disrupt in the backfield.
But while Davis might have untapped potential as a pass rusher, teams will need to investigate why he was frequently taken off the field on obvious passing downs. It may have simply been a coaching decision based on Georgia’s impressive depth, but teams looking to draft Davis highly will want to know what he brings as a pass rusher.
Teams will also want to be sure regarding Davis’ conditioning and stamina. Not only was he taken off the field on some obvious passing downs, he was also rotated off for whole series at a time. Rotating defensive linemen isn’t a red flag in and of itself, and nobody should expect a player of Davis’ size to play every single snap. However, teams will need to find out if they would have to make special considerations for Davis’ stamina over the course of a game and the whole season.
Overall Grade: 9.1
Jordan Davis projects as a starting defensive tackle with positional and schematic versatility, and the potential to be a perennial Pro Bowl player.
Davis’ unique blend of size, power, and athleticism gives him the upside to be a dominant player in any defensive scheme. He has more than enough size and power to play the nose in a 3 or 4-man front, while his rare athleticism should allow him to play a 3, 4i, or 5-technique if his future defensive coordinator so desires.
It’s easy to become so awed by Davis’ size, power, and athleticism that you miss the technique with which he plays. Jordan Davis is more than just an industrial-sized block eater. He is a technician at the defensive tackle position who uses his leverage and hands to facilitate his incredible physical tools. The result is a player who is capable of simply mauling offensive linemen. Not only can he collapse pockets, but Davis can discard blockers almost at will, and even has great range as well.
Davis will likely have to be in an active defensive line rotation at the next level, and teams will certainly have to do their homework to make sure he isn’t too much of a “part time” player. The big guys need rest over the course of a game to be at their best when it matters most, and for all his athleticism, Davis is no different. But when he is on the field, he is certainly a difference maker.