NAME: Deshaun Davis
CLASS: RS Senior
JERSEY: No. 57
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 246 lbs
Coverage – Stiff and segmented mover in his coverage drops. There is a clear calculation and pause between reading the quarterback and working into throwing lanes. Cannot be trusted to carry tight ends or running backs into space in man coverage. Route recognition skills are lacking.
Tackling – Brings outstanding power on arrival. Wraps low and brings his feet through contact when he squares up. Has issues coming to balance and bringing down ball carriers in space. Limited athleticism leads to frequent missed opportunities.
Blocks – Will attack blockers with aggression, lowering his shoulder and plugging them back into gaps. Does well to play forward and into the line of scrimmage. Excels in tight spaces where he can slide off blocks. Does not sift through junk well laterally and is frequently behind the football on account of slow processing and limited range. Hands needs to be more active when trying to shed blocks.
Physicality – Likes to eat glass and stick his face in fans. Aggressively attacks blocks and looks to finish. Has a tone-setting mentality on the second level.
Motor – Lacks the fluidity, processing skills and burst to take advantage but he is a highly urgent football player that works hard on every snap. Pursues with intent and battles despite limitations.
Processing – Slow and inconsistent processor. Easily manipulated by play fakes and routinely commits false steps. Does not grasp understanding the economy of motion and the best course to the football. Limited athletic ability does not allow him to recover from incorrect reads.
Range – Is a c-gap to c-gap player with minimal ability to work outside the tackles and make an impact. Getting enough depth in coverage drops is an issue. Steps are heavy and hips are tight when closing and working laterally. Rarely wins angles.
Flexibility – Tightness is exposed when working laterally or sinking in his coverage drops. Linear athlete who labors through angles. Change of direction skills are sluggish and segmented.
Versatility – Likely only a two-down thumper in a 3-4 alignment but may have some upside as a SAM linebacker in a 4-3 against heavy personnel. Will be a liability on passing downs. Will need to find a home on special teams and standout.
BEST TRAIT – Physicality
WORST TRAIT – Mobility
RED FLAGS – Play Speed
Davis’ lack of lateral mobility, range and pass coverage skills limits his NFL role to an early down contributor against heavy packages as a 3-4 inside backer or 4-3 SAM linebacker. The physical brand Davis plays with is intriguing when he has chances to work downhill and plug gaps as a hammer against the run but his overall skill set is limited. By year three, Davis may have some upside as a reserve linebacker that can function in sub-packages if he proves to be an asset on special teams.
PROS: Called the team’s on-field defensive coordinator by some of the coaches on staff. Davis has a high football IQ, not just for his team’s scheme, but for what offenses are doing, as well. Understands spacing, where the ball is likely going to go, and can often anticipate over just reacting during plays. Good in zone because he is rarely out of position. Bigger body makes him a force near the trenches. Can stop the run and take up gaps well. Solid, reliable tackler. Is a vocal leader at all times; is a true leader at all times.
CONS: Limited both athletically and in size. 5-foot-11 is not ideal for him as a middle linebacker. Heavier weight makes it tough for him to keep up with any man coverage assignment. Savviness with zone coverage only takes him so far when covering deep zones up the middle. Athletic tight ends can give him problems, if left to cover them by himself.