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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: S Shawn Davis

  • The Draft Network
  • January 29, 2021
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Shawn Davis is a rangy, scheme-versatile safety that’s shown to have value as both a single- and two-high safety. Although he’s shown the capability of being a true single-high type of safety, he wasn't allowed to play much of it in 2019. A quick-twitched option that covers a lot of ground during ball pursuit, he can flat-out run when given free paths to the ball. Prior to his sophomore year, Davis spent a lot of time on special teams, which will expand his draft stock because of the multitude of areas that he possibly could come in and provide value. A fluid mover, Davis’ smarts and awareness show up often no matter the coverage at hand. Has had his fair share of turnover-worthy plays. Nearly every interception opportunity that has come into his zone, he attempts to catch each with only one hand. An unexplainable habit, Davis must learn to stop going for the highlight reel play and attack the ball out of the air with two hands. As a tackler, he’s much more effective when he can gather a full head of steam prior to the contact point compared to when targets are running directly at him and they turn into the enforcer.

Ideal Role: Developmental versatile safety that can be utilized as a core special teams player during the early stages of his career.

Scheme Fit: Cover 2 safety.


Written by Jordan Reid

Games watched: Texas A&M (2020), Arkansas (2020), Kentucky (2020), Georgia (2020)

Best Game Studied: Texas A&M (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Arkansas (2020)

Football IQ: Davis is a highly-aware safety that often keeps his eyes fixated in the backfield to see the happenings there. Keeping his eyes and head on a swivel, he’s able to examine all of the factors that are happening inside and outside of his areas. In coverage, he’s able to read and react to certain concepts as he isn’t afraid to attack exactly what he sees, even if he ends up being wrong. 

Tackling: Needing to become more consistent as a tackler, Davis has a tendency to be more a torpedo type of tackler instead of actually wrapping up. Displaying discipline with his tackling methods could eventually lead to him becoming a more sure tackler as he tends to throw his body at ball carriers in hopes of them not being able to withstand the momentum from his body. 

Versatility: Flashing lots of versatility in his game, Davis has spent time at both free and strong safety. With most of his better plays coming as a strong safety, teams could view him better suited at that spot. Despite that, he’s proven to be functional at both spots, but his discipline and aggressiveness will both need to be improved upon in order for him to see action at either spot on the next level. 

Range: Possessing plenty of speed, Davis can get to his desired spots in a hurry. When clicking and closing on routes that are in front of him, he’s shown that he can quickly close operating space. Able to quickly eat up grass when attacking in a linear path, he doesn’t provide many extra opportunities to targets. When coming down from the roof, Davis takes accurate angles to the ball. That, combined with his speed, is why he’s experienced plenty of success from multiple alignments. 

Ball Skills: With five career interceptions and 14 passes defensed, Davis has his fair share of ball production. When the ball is within reach, he’s able to rise up and make plays on it. An unconventional tendency that Davis has while attacking the ball, though, is his habit of always doing it with only one hand. I'm not sure if he’s always attempting highlight-reel one-hand catches or if it’s a natural instinct for him to reach up at the ball in that fashion. 

Run Defending: Davis is active with coming downhill, but is hit or miss on whether or not he will be able to bring runners down. Needing to become a more consistent tackler is one of the more glaring traits that will be the difference in him being mostly a special teams player compared to actually seeing in-game action on the defensive side.

Functional Athleticism: With plenty of natural athleticism, Davis has the hips and quickness to maintain in any type of coverage. Reps in man coverage were scarce, but his foot speed and hips translate well to what he potentially could be at that spot. Spending some time as a nickel defender, that may be a spot he continues to see more action at on the next level. 

Competitive Toughness: Exhibiting plenty of competitiveness in his game overall, Davis is a competitor that isn’t afraid to line up across from anyone. In route stems, tackles, and the physical portions of playing the position, Davis doesn’t have much trouble with matching the expectations in those areas. 

Flexibility: With lots of athleticism and speed, Davis doesn’t show many challenges with his flexibility. A smooth mover that gets to Point B quickly, he can turn and run with many targets. Davis’ biggest improvements must come with his eyes and knowing where to locate them. He often falls victim to play-action fakes where he gets in too deep and can’t recover.

Special Teams Value: During his entire freshman season in Gainesville, Davis was one of the better special teams players on the roster. Being that he will likely be a late-round selection and depth player early on through his career, his presence on special teams could be a key determining factor with his spot on the roster. If anything, Davis will be a key contributor as a special teams player as soon as he walks through the door as a rookie.


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Jordan Reid: 68/100

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