The Alabama Crimson Tide entering an NFL Draft cycle with a draftable cornerback prospect isn’t unusual. Yet, the one set to make the biggest splash come April isn’t the one that you would have suspected before the season. Jalyn Armour-Davis has surpassed his more well-known teammate to become the Alabama CB to target in the 2022 NFL Draft. Ironically, Armour-Davis’ scouting report reveals why opposing teams want to avoid targeting him.
Jalyn Armour-Davis NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Cornerback
- School: Alabama
- Current Year: Redshirt Junior
- Height: 6’1″
- Weight: 192 pounds
Jalyn Armour-Davis Scouting Report
After last year’s six first-round picks and 10 overall selections, the 2022 NFL Draft was meant to represent something of a down year for the Crimson Tide. We should have known better. Elite offensive line prospect Evan Neal has turned out to be, for some, the best player in the class. Christian Harris is one of the best linebackers in the class alongside Henry To’o To’o. Phidarian Mathis? Certified good. We could go on.
However, other potential prospects have emerged through this season to potentially throw their name into the NFL ring. And that’s where we find Armour-Davis, the surprising contender to join the likes of Patrick Surtain II, Trevon Diggs, and Marlon Humphrey as game-changing Crimson Tide cornerbacks at the next level.
What is it about Armour-Davis’ scouting report that has seen his sudden ascent? It starts with an NFL-ready frame at the cornerback position. 6’1″ and 192 pounds, the Alabama defender has the size to play on the outside at the next level. Furthermore, he appears to have impressive relative length, which can be more important than height.
As you’d expect from a former 100m state champion, Armour-Davis is blessed with impressive speed. This is apparent not only in his ability to cover deep routes step for step with any wide receiver he’s lined up against but also in his ability to cover the width of the field. As a result, Armour-Davis possesses impressive range.
Speed, athleticism, and discipline
However, speed only gets you so far in coverage. Thankfully for the Alabama CB, he’s an impressively fluid athlete who showcases exceptional footwork. He’s able to mirror wide receivers, change direction almost effortlessly, and demonstrates excellent backpedal ability. You rarely see Armour-Davis give an inch of separation, and when the ball arrives, he uses his length to be disruptive.
Additionally, he appears to possess impressive eye discipline and an understanding of route concepts. The Alabama cornerback is rarely wrong-footed upon release in press coverage and isn’t easily swayed by head fakes and other tools of reception deception.
Armour-Davis also showcases some impressive ability in run support. He routinely disengages well from blockers, allowing him to make a timely play against the run. Moreover, he takes a measured approach to tackling, ensuring he takes correct angles and tackles with form. You don’t see him lunging into a tackle wildly and whiffing.
You also don’t see a lot of penalties against the Crimson Tide product. In the games studied, there were zero flags thrown due to his actions. His combination of reliability, special-teams experience, and the skill set evidenced in his scouting report should make Armour-Davis a desirable commodity in the 2022 NFL Draft. Currently projected as an early Day 3 pick, don’t be surprised if his stock has soared beyond there and into Day 2 by April.
Areas for improvement
Armour-Davis has surpassed his more well-known teammate as an NFL Draft prospect this season. He’s an exceptional athlete, technically solid cornerback, and appears to be an impressive and humble person away from the field. However, there are still areas for improvement on his scouting report.
The biggest takeaway from compiling Armour-Davis’ scouting report was that he needs to trust his instincts more. The Alabama cornerback can often appear hesitant in how he approaches run plays and rushing the passer. He needs to routinely trust what he sees and go out there and execute.
Although he is impressive in coverage, there are improvements to be made here, too. Although it’s rare, Armour-Davis can sometimes be put on the wrong foot on release, although he has the athletic ability to recover. Another area in coverage to develop is ensuring that he routinely pressures the receiver to the sideline. Too often, he gives up his inside on a route, making it more difficult to make a play on the ball.
Having missed time in two separate seasons due to injury, that might throw up a red flag for NFL teams. Armour-Davis missed his entire freshman campaign with a knee injury. He has also missed time this year with a hip injury. With the two not being linked, it shouldn’t create an issue, but NFL teams will want to investigate ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Jalyn Armour-Davis Player Profile
Alabama is the home of southern literature, southern hospitality, and hot and humid summers. Its football team is the home of elite college football players and NFL Draft prospects. Inextricably linked to the latter, the state is also home to the Armour-Davis family, with a young Jalyn hailing from Mobile, the home of the Senior Bowl.
Armour-Davis attended St. Paul’s High School, a successful footballing school with a reputation for excellence and a standard to match. The young cornerback helped match and maintain that standard, helping St. Paul win three Class 5A state titles in the four years he attended the school.
However, it wasn’t just the football field where Armour-Davis maintained the standard. An incredible athlete, he won state titles in both the 100m and triple jump during his junior year.
At the same time, he tallied 31 tackles and 3 interceptions as a defensive back. Meanwhile, he showcased versatility with 3 receiving touchdowns and 1 rushing score.
Sweet Home Alabama
Understandably, the hometown highlight reel attracted both local and national attention. A four-star recruit, Armour-Davis was the No. 2 player in the state in 2018. Auburn was the first team to formally offer him in the June of 2015. Yet, it took the Mobile native two years and 12 offers to make his one and only commitment.
“Alabama, Auburn, and Florida State are all pretty good programs, obviously,” he told AL.com. “This wasn’t just about football for me. Alabama is a great school in general, and I think they can do a lot for me on the field and in my future in general.”
With his recruitment sewn up, Armour-Davis could focus on finishing his high school career on a high. Missing out on a championship in 2016 had hurt, and the young two-way playmaker was determined to reestablish the standard. He finished the season with 21 tackles and 8 pass breakups, 364 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns. Poetically, he finished it with a state title in his soon-to-be new home — Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Armour-Davis’ career at Alabama
Even the most talented high school prospects have to fight for playing time as a college freshman. At a program like Alabama, where there are multiple elite athletes at each position, it’s even harder. Armour-Davis was conscious of the challenge but confident of his chances of becoming a freshman fixture for the Crimson Tide.
“I know I’ve got to put in the work when I get there,” Armour-Davis told reporters on signing his national letter of intent. “I think the opportunity is there, but I’ve got to come in and perform like I know I can perform. If that happens, I think I can get on the field a good bit next year.”
It sadly wasn’t to be in 2018. The young Alabama cornerback suffered a knee injury before the season that ruled him out for the entire year. He maintained a redshirt year and made his debut on special teams against Duke in the 2019 season. Between 2019 and 2020, he carved out a role as a special teamer while seeing a chunk of action at defensive back.
Although those two seasons didn’t provide much in the way of statistical standout, Armour-Davis made some noticeable plays. In 2019, he logged a first career pass breakup against New Mexico State. Another came that season against Western Carolina. Meanwhile, in the 2020 campaign, he flashed his special-teams value with a stop on kickoff coverage against Georgia.
Under-the-radar cornerback prospect emerges in the 2021 season
As a result, Armour-Davis entered this year under the radar in terms of Alabama’s 2022 NFL Draft prospects. However, the young Crimson Tide cornerback has elevated his profile significantly with a string of sensational performances on their run to the CFP National Championship Game.
He made his first-ever career start in the season opener against the Miami Hurricanes. Armour-Davis snagged his first career interception in the close-fought win over Florida. He followed that up with interceptions in consecutive games against Tennessee and LSU. His performances caught the eye inside of the program, as he was named the team’s Defensive Back of the Week on four different occasions.
His performances also attracted national attention. Armour-Davis was named second-team All-SEC by the conference’s coaches. Furthermore, he’s crept — rather sprinted — into the conversation as a genuine 2022 NFL Draft prospect. The Alabama cornerback is listed as a top-100 prospect on both myself and fellow PFN Draft Analyst Ian Cummings’ latest big board.
After just one year of starting experience, there’s no guarantee that he declares. If he does, Armour-Davis should be a significant player in a deep 2022 NFL Draft cornerback class. The Alabama CB has the size, speed, and ball skills to play at the next level for a long time.
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Jalyn Armour-Davis
Positives: Athletic cornerback with outstanding size and speed. Plays to his 40 time, stays with opponents throughout the route, and shows a nice move to the throw. Effectively times his pass defenses, is most effective facing the action, and possesses a closing burst. Quickly picks up coverage assignments and battles opponents throughout the route.
Negatives: Prefers to side shuffle downfield and loses a half-step in transition. Guesses wrong, which costs him. Does a lot of face guarding. Not a stout wrap-up tackler.
Analysis: Armour-Davis possesses the size, speed, and athleticism to play on Sundays, but he must polish his techniques. Best in a zone system or backed off the line of scrimmage. He could make an immediate impact on special teams.