As the foundation of one of the greatest college football defenses in history, Jordan Davis has seen his NFL Draft stock rocket over the past 12 months. At over 6’6″ and 340 pounds, there’s no doubting that he’s an imposing figure. Can the Georgia DT impose himself on the early part of the first round in Las Vegas? Davis’ NFL Draft scouting report suggests he can.
Jordan Davis NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Defensive Tackle
- School: Georgia
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’6 3/8″
- Weight: 341 pounds
- Wingspan: 81 1/8″
- Arm: 34″
- Hand: 10 3/4″
Jordan Davis Scouting Report
Davis spurned the opportunity to head to the NFL after his junior season with the goal of achieving a national title for Georgia. With that goal accomplished, he also helped elevate his own NFL Draft stock significantly. After leading the Bulldogs to the highest point of college football, has the imposing defensive tackle solidified himself as the top player at his position in the 2022 NFL Draft?
As alluded to in the introduction of his scouting report, Davis is an imposing figure. He puts the “big” into “big man” in the trenches. Even at the heart of the defensive interior where you’d expect to find some unnaturally large human beings, the Georgia DT is one of his own. It isn’t simply his 6’6″ height and 341-pound mass that is gargantuan. Davis also boasts an impressive wingspan and length, with bear claws where human hands should be.
The sheer size gives him a natural advantage in the trenches. Trying to run on Davis is an impracticability; his humongous frame fills gaps with ease. Would you run into a brick wall? No. The effect is the same. The only way to negate his impact is to double-team him. To use his own words, “if there’s two on me, somebody’s free.” Davis’ very presence allows his teammates to go to work, taking advantage of the available space created.
Size in itself doesn’t necessarily equate to success. Thankfully, Davis has a solid anchor that, once again, helps him to be an immovable object. There were very few examples of him giving up ground to even the most aggressive and powerful linemen at the point of attack. Furthermore, Davis possesses the power and aggression off the snap to collapse the pocket with disturbing regularity.
Strength, athleticism, and high character
The Georgia DT has unnatural power in both his upper and lower body. The anchor mentioned above is the result of his lower body strength. Davis also showcases violence and power from his upper body, particularly with how he generates a devastating punch from his long arms and large hands. The length allows him to manipulate opponents away from his frame. He has some impressive technical ability when it comes to hand fighting.
One of the most impressive aspects of Davis’ game is his athletic prowess. The Georgia DT has fantastic speed for his size and is an impressive lateral athlete. He’s nimble on his toes, possesses a surprising change-of-direction ability, and can cover ground exceptionally well. I likened him to an express train on social media when conducting his summer scouting report.
Men of his size are simply not supposed to get up such a head of speed. While this was evidenced at the NFL Combine, it shouldn’t surprise anyone who has studied his tape. There are several examples where the speed shows up. The example that stands out to me the most is from a 2019 clash against LSU. Davis motored across the width of the field to take down a scrambling Joe Burrow on the sideline.
Rounding out his scouting report, Davis also appears to have high off-field character. He was a permanent team captain in his last season and spoke about returning for 2021 to be a leader for the team. With a strong on and off-field presence, Davis should be in high demand in the 2022 NFL Draft. A potential Day 1 starter, the Georgia DT can make an impact for an NFL defense as a true nose tackle but with the athleticism to impact from multiple alignments.
Areas for improvement
With the positives from his scouting report, Davis is an impressive 2022 NFL Draft prospect. However, we have to temper the excitement with some areas for improvement. There are potentially limiting factors to his report that could play against the Georgia DT at the next level.
Although he showcased some development as a pass rusher this season, this is still a significant area for improvement. His usage has primarily been as a run stopper and to help create space for his teammates to attack. To be considered a true three-down player at the NFL level, Davis will need to have a better pass-rush plan with the ability to have a combination of moves ready to unload if he fails to win with strength alone.
Davis could improve his pass-rushing acumen with more of an explosive approach at the snap. In the games studied, he seemed slower at the snap than his athletic profile would suggest.
Finally, with availability next to ability as a consideration, Davis has some questions. He played less than 50% of Georgia’s defensive snaps last season. While they have an abundance of talent to be able to rotate players, you can’t convince me that was entirely by design. Davis will need to prove that he can stay on the field for longer if a team is going to use the capital of a first-round selection on him.
Davis’ Player Profile
Although he heads to the 2022 NFL Draft as one of the best defensive tackles in the class, Davis was a late bloomer on the football field. Despite containing an athletic profile that belied his imposing size and allowed him to succeed at basketball, Davis hadn’t played a down of high school football heading into his sophomore season at Mallard Creek.
However, that didn’t stop the young DT from garnering early recruiting attention. Davis may have only been ranked as the 29th defensive tackle in the class (three-star rating from 247 Sports), but North Carolina still offered Davis a scholarship as a sophomore. By the time his senior season came around, he had received eight scholarship offers with multiple opportunities to play in the SEC.
Davis remained uncommitted before the start of a remarkable senior season. Mallard Creek emerged as a force in the NCHSAA Division 4AA, with their gigantic DT the anchor of an imposing defense. The dominant unit allowed less than seven points in six different games. As Mallard geared up for a run at the state championship, Davis announced that he would be leaving the state of North Carolina to suit up for the Georgia Bulldogs.
Davis helped guide Mallard Creek to the state championship, where they would suffer their only defeat of the season. The young defensive tackle’s impressive performances would ensure he received multiple individual accolades. Davis was named first-team USA Today North Carolina All-USA and received first-team All-State honors.
Davis’ career at Georgia
As a result of his relatively low recruiting ranking, Davis was expected to redshirt his first year in Athens. Instead, he developed into a starter and an important piece of Georgia’s defensive line. Although he registered meager statistical production — 25 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks — Davis impacted the ground game.
That said, he set career-high single-game tackle numbers against LSU. Furthermore, Davis logged his first sack and tackle for loss in his freshman season, both coming against Georgia Tech. Davis was selected to the FWAA Freshman All-American and Freshman All-SEC teams, going from expected redshirt to award winner within the space of a year.
Davis started four games as a true freshman and became a pivotal piece with eight starts in his sophomore season. While he saw an uptick in pass-rush production with 2.5 sacks, his ability to be disruptive in the ground game continued to be his calling card. He registered 4 tackles for loss, and the Bulldogs jumped from the 31st-ranked defense against the run to the top run-stopping unit in the nation.
After being overlooked for postseason honors in 2019, Davis’ play in his junior season earned him second-team All-American recognition from the AFCA. He was also named second-team All-SEC for his play in seven starts at nose tackle. The Georgia DT established himself as a defensive leader with his play but was rewarded for his general leadership qualities with the team captaincy against Tennessee.
Davis’ NFL Draft ascension
Following the most impressive pass-rush performance of his career in the Peach Bowl win over Cincinnati, Davis was expected to declare for the NFL Draft. Yet, the Georgia DT had other ideas. Citing “unfinished business” in a social media post announcing his return, Davis spurned the NFL and returned to Athens for another year.
If the “unfinished business” was helping deliver a national title to Georgia for the first time in 40 years, Davis was successful in his goal. Setting career-highs for tackles (32) and tackles for loss (5.0), the imposing DT ate up double-team blocks and allowed the vast array of talent around him to go to work. He also proved disruptive in his own right with 2 sacks.
Davis’ dominance was rewarded as the winner of the Outland Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award. His NFL Draft stock had skyrocketed throughout the season, with the Georgia DT involved in their early first-round attention. However, his inability to be on the field for over 50% of his team’s snaps, and a lackluster performance in the SEC Championship Game, raised questions about his athletic ability.
Davis answered those questions in dramatic style at the NFL Combine. In an almost historic performance, the Georgia DT propelled his gargantuan 340-pound frame down the 40-yard track in a ludicrous 4.78 seconds. He was also impressive during on-field drills. With the pre-draft process complete, and the 2022 NFL Draft almost upon us, Davis settles in as the top defensive tackle on the Pro Football Network Top 300 Big Board.
Tony Pauline’s scouting report for Jordan Davis
Positives: Massive, athletic defensive lineman who is a game-changer up front. Displays outstanding power and easily bull rushes opponents off the line to collapse the pocket. Effective with his hands, knocks blockers back with a violent punch, and keeps his feet moving. Plays with proper pad level and can be an unstoppable force.
Smooth and fluid when asked to twist or stunt. Easily changes direction and gets outside the box and to the flanks in pursuit. Triple-teamed by opponents, yet holds his ground and frees things up for teammates to make plays on the ball.
Negatives: Lacks great first-step quickness. Must develop more moves to get off blocks. Was rotated in and out of the lineup for Georgia.
Analysis: Davis is a game-changing defensive lineman who has been woefully underrated the past two seasons. He’s a three-down player with the ability to line up in a variety of schemes or defensive fronts. Davis should be a Day 1 starter and go on to have a long and productive career in the NFL.
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