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NFL Draft

Jordan Davis Has Proven A Lot In 2021

  • The Draft Network
  • October 14, 2021
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The college football season is underway and there are a handful of players who have made a tremendous case to raise their stock in next year’s draft. One of these players is Georgia IDL Jordan Davis. Heading into this season, he was a projected day-two prospect. However, his play this season has warranted consideration as a day-one pick. 

The player Davis reminds me of most from recent drafts is Derrick Brown out of Auburn, who was selected No. 7 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. To date, he has anchored a defense that currently ranks No. 2 in the NFL and has been a key to their overall resurgence. The Carolina defense is near the top in most statistical categories and their front has a lot to do with it. 

Davis has proven to have at least sufficient value on third downs. Initially, I questioned if he had the ability to play in passing situations and if he would ever get in good enough shape to play harder and for longer. He has always been extremely athletic for his size, so playing with better hand usage and leverage could go a long way toward helping him improve as a pass rusher. On his 2020 tape, he just didn’t appear to be in great shape early in the season. And as a 340-pound young man, getting in shape is a critical component to maximizing his ability. He is playing better for longer spurts in 2021. 

Another contributing factor may be the arrival of Kirby Smart and Georgia’s uber-talented defense overall. Smart has done an outstanding job recruiting some of the top high school players in the country, but also placing them in a position to be successful. The Bulldogs defense is the very best in the country. They currently lead the nation in yards per game allowed with an average of 201, while also leading the nation in scoring defense, yielding just five points per game. All 11 players on Georgia’s defense are projected to be on an NFL roster in some capacity in the future. Playing with other stud defenders forces offenses to account for other players as well. As a result, a given offense cannot solely focus on Davis, which frees him up for single-block opportunities. 

Collectively, all of these factors have contributed to the ascension of Davis. In my latest mock draft, I have him selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with pick No. 11. He is currently ranked at No. 16 on the TDN100. 

While there is plenty of season left to go, there are a few things that are already apparent. Davis appears to be in better shape, which has allowed him to play harder for longer. He also has proven to have true three-down ability and any lingering questions I previously had of his value in the passing game have officially been answered. He’s also playing with better leverage and is surrounded by talented players. All of those things have contributed to his personal success and the success of Georgia’s defense, and the team overall.

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