Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis emerged as one of the big winners from the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month. Despite one of the all-time great performances in combine history, whispers persist that NFL scouts may be skeptical about his pass-rush ability at the next level.
Speaking at the 85th Maxwell Club Awards at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, where he was presented with the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation’s top defensive player, Davis addressed those concerns head on.
“I did a lot of self-reflection and you know, I understand that’s one of my achillies heels but that’s what I worked on in the offseason and that’s what I’m getting better at,” he said. “A lot of people think that it’s end-all-be-all at Georgia in that scheme but I’m putting the work in and doing my best to be a complete player and do all the necessary things to be in on pass rush too.”
The national champion Bulldogs boast draft picks up and down the defensive line, one of the factors playing into Davis mostly being substituted out on third downs. Once weighing as much as 360 pounds, conditioning has also been a question raised by talent evaluators during the pre-draft process. However, Davis showed up at Indianapolis in what appeared to be prime shape, tipping the scales at 341 pounds and running the fastest official forty-yard dash (4.78) of any player over 310 pounds since 2003, according to Next Gen Stats.
He would later add a 10-foot-3 broad jump, the longest such jump since 2003 by a combine participant who weighed 300 or more pounds and registered a 1.68 10-yard split, which is a more explosive time than that of JJ Watt (1.71). Davis elaborated on his most memorable combine experience, which highlights his love for the game.
“I would just say hanging around the other players. That’s one of the only times that you have all those college football players in one area, so you can talk game with people from all over the country. It’s not even about the on-field performance, it’s more about the off-the-field connections I made.”
Despite the memorable combine performance, Davis chose to workout at his pro day, just one day prior, specifically going through a slew of pass-rush drills during positional work, in order to showcase his skill-set to NFL teams once again.
“Everything that I do, I want to put on a show and put my best foot forward, so I’ve already heard great responses from that,” Davis replied when asked about feedback from his workout. “I expected nothing less. I went out there and did my best, so coming back and hearing positive reviews, I’m feeling good.”
There seems to be quite a few million reasons why Davis should be ‘feeling good.’ While draft grades currently fluctuate on where the Charlotte native will be taken, most teams view him as a solid mid-first round selection in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft.