PHILADELPHIA – Kyzir White broke into a big smile when asked on Monday about Jordan Davis.
"Jordan, he's huge,” said the Eagles linebacker. “I've never seen somebody like that. I didn't know. But it's definitely glad he's on our side. He's gonna definitely make things easier for the linebackers. And I'm looking forward to it."
That’s generally the reaction when Davis’ name comes up, because, well, the first thing you notice about the rookie defensive tackle is that he really is huge.
Has there ever been a 6-6, 340-pound defensive tackle, one with the agility to do what he did to Jack Anderson during practice on Monday?
Even the Fridge, William Perry, was just 6-2, though he was above 380 during his playing days from 1985-94.
It almost doesn’t look right to see someone so big parked in the middle of the line – the defensive line.
But there’s more to Davis and on Monday, perhaps more than any other day of practice, he showed it while taking some first-team reps.
If you didn’t see it, Davis left Anderson blocking nothing but the humid air during one drill when he showed the footwork of a welterweight boxer by sidestepping the center and blasting into the backfield. His long arms are able to push blockers out of the way, something he demonstrated as well.
Cam Jurgens, drafted out of Nebraska in the second round after the Eagles took Davis in the first round, has seen big defensive tackles before, but none with the skill set Davis possesses.
“There was a guy at Nebraska, came in close to 400,” said Jurgens. “Not quite the skills of Jordan Davis, but we had a big-ass dude at Nebraska.”
Jurgens locked up with Davis during one-on-one drills, a drill being done for the first time since players actually had shoulder pads on for the first time. Full pads come on Tuesday.
In the No. 1 vs. No. 2, Jurgens won, withstanding a Davis bullrush by anchoring and showing brute strength.
Bull rushing is something the Eagles want Davis to work on; not so much side by side, even though he seemed to be pretty good at it at Georgia and against Anderson.
“In college, we read blocks a lot,” said Davis. “Now I just have to learn how to go. Really just everything is going forward instead of going side to side.
“It’s different, but that’s not to say it’s better. That’s the scheme. How we operate is different. But I would say it definitely takes a lot of thinking out of it. It’s kind of like you being an offensive lineman on defense. You’re running and whatever gets in your way you just knock it back.”
The Eagles also want Davis playing at a certain weight, and that is in the 330-340 range
“I’m cutting down, trying to work it down getting extra reps and everything,” he said.
Head coach Nick Sirianni said that Davis reported to camp at the weight they wanted him, but “we are going to be on him about that. I know he came back where he needed to be, but that's going to be something that we're focused on.”
The coach added, “That's something I'm always obsessed about is are you playing to the correct weight. I've had experiences throughout my career of guys being heavy and their play suffering.
"I've had experience of my guys through my career of them losing weight of what they were the year before and having phenomenal seasons. So that’s always going to stick in my mind.”
There’s still a way to go for Davis to become a reliable defensive tackle, but he’s getting there.
“I’m learning it all,” he said. “I’m trying to get cross-trained, primarily nose but I’m learning all the different pieces. I take it day by day. One day might be better than the others, one day might be worse than the others but you take it day by day.
“Every day is a great day. (Monday) I feel like every day when I’m out here I’m getting better. I’m working on something in my craft. I’m never really coming off an L (loss in practice) I mean, you’ll lose a rep. that’s football, but you learn something from that.”
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Fan Nation Eagles Today and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglesmaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.