For all the big money earned by quarterbacks and all the swagger exuded by cornerbacks, football is ultimately won by the big men in the trenches. In the 2022 NFL Draft, they don’t come much bigger than Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis. A 340-pound behemoth who stands at an imposing 6’6″, Davis spurned the chance to go to the NFL to return for his senior season. As a result, he projects to be one of the top defensive tackles in this class, and a dive into Davis’ scouting report details why.
Jordan Davis NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Defensive Tackle
- School: Georgia
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’6″
- Weight: 340 pounds
Jordan Davis Scouting Report
As alluded to in the introduction, Davis is a gigantic man. When you’re as big as Davis is, it makes you a challenging object to manipulate. As a result, Davis sees more than his fair share of double teams. Although he isn’t particularly impactful in the passing game from a statistical standpoint, eating up those double teams allows success from elsewhere. To steal his phrase:
“If there’s two on me, somebody’s free.”
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 aggressive linemen at the point of attack. He combines that with a powerful profile that allows him to force offensive linemen back upfield or laterally if required.
In addition to being strong in both his upper and lower body, Davis exhibits powerful and violent hands. He also demonstrates excellent technical ability, routinely disengaging from blockers with smart hand usage.
One of the most impressive aspects of Davis’ game is his athletic prowess. The Georgia DT has fantastic speed for his size. 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 recently. Men of his size are not supposed to get up such a head of speed.
Areas for improvement
Although Davis is one of the best defensive tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft class, there are some concerns.
The Georgia DT poses little threat as a pass rusher. Other than one play against LSU in 2019, where he obliterated Joe Burrow, there were few examples of Davis displaying any genuine danger to the quarterback. His usage is solely in the run game. As a result, he may prove to be limited as a two-down player in the NFL. Any time you have to come off the field, you decrease your value.
On the theme of availability is your best ability, Davis has missed time in four games over the past two years due to injury. This doesn’t raise a significant red flag at this point. However, it is something worth monitoring going forward.
While Davis showcases nimble feet and impressive play speed, he could be quicker at the point of the snap. In the games studied, he seemed slow off the snap with little explosion. If he could make strides in that area, it would significantly improve his play.
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 also allowed him to succeed at basketball, Davis hadn’t played a down of high school football heading into his sophomore season at Mallard Creek.
That didn’t stop the young defensive tackle from garnering early recruiting attention. He may have only been ranked as the 29th defensive tackle in the class (three-star rating from 247 Sports), but the University of North Carolina still offered Davis a scholarship as a sophomore. By the time his senior season came around, Davis 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 defensive tackle 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.
Having started four games as a true freshman, Davis 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.
Davis returns to Georgia for his senior season despite NFL Draft recognition
After being overlooked for postseason honors in 2019, Davis’ play in his junior season earned him second-team All-American recognition from the AFCA. Moreover, he was 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.
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 defensive leader had other ideas. In early January, he released the following statement via social media:
“The NFL is a career goal, but it will have to wait another year. We have some unfinished business. Georgia is my home, I’m not going anywhere. Let’s run it back one more time.”
Although the unfinished business is undoubtedly a call to his Georgia teammates to deliver a championship, Davis has the unfinished business of elevating his 2022 NFL Draft stock. Considered a potential mid-round prospect by some analysts last season, can he force his way into early-round consideration?
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Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.