Hand Technique - His lack of length is going to be a big barrier to an every-down role in the pros. Struggles with stacking blocks and too often will get outreached by longer blockers; losing leverage and allowing himself to be yanked out of gaps. He's got good hand power but insufficient secondary shedding upside.
Competitive Toughness - He does not play with an overly stout anchor and wins come largely thanks to high effort and quickness. He will not hold up against double teams and needs to avoid high traffic congestion and reading blocks as much as possible to keep him to his winning formula as a gap shooter.
Two Gap Ability - Would not endorse any reps as a two-gap player. He's light in the anchor and ineffective to extend his arms and shed blocks — so ball carriers will have little issue running off of his hip on inside runs and he'll struggle to keep gaps plugged and aid in keeping linebackers free to flow.
Gap Penetration - Quick as a hiccup with his twitch and first step. Really appreciate how sudden his timed releases are to shoot forward and attack gaps. He's got a lot of backfield production by beating OL out of the blocks and coming to balance once he's got heels deep into the offensive backfield.
Tackling - Tackle radius and mirror ability are modest at best and he'll need to be able to close down angles if he's going to consistently finish splash reps. He shows good discipline to come to balance and his density provides plenty of power as a finisher crashing into ball carriers in the backfield.
Flexibility - Has a fair amount of coil throughout his frame, mostly in straight line scenarios as compared to flipping himself open to flash and crash down onto the hip of a ball carrier on outside runs. Was used some at end and struggled to get himself open to string out plays headed outside the hashes.
Pass Rush Counters - He's a first step rusher first and foremost but there is some awareness here of ripping through contact or urgency to displace hands when he's got momentum into gaps. His lack of length will cost him chances to drop hands prior to contact and well framed blockers will best him as a result.
First Step Explosiveness - He has a ton of pop and twitch coiled into his frame. His ability to get rolled up into a dynamic stance allows him to really spring out of the blocks and get into attack mode quickly in gaps. He's got a translatable dominant trait; which should help him find a rotational role at worst.
Feet/COD - His suddenness in short spaces isn't anything of note but he's also not a lumbering presence, either. He can crash down and collapse if he's going into his momentum on the back side of runs and put some heat on ball carriers to continue into contain. His short space agility to cross face works against heavy footed IOL.
Versatility - He was asked to do more in college than he'll be assigned with in the pros. Ideally he's a 3rd down rotational rush defender who can use all that explosiveness to shoot gaps and test blockers inside — he'd greatly benefit from rushing next to an accomplished rusher to garner 1 vs. 1s with consistency.
Best Trait - First Step Quickness
Worst Trait - Length
Best Film - Ohio State (2019)
Worst Film - Wisconsin (2019)
Red Flags - None
Player Summary - Khalil Davis projects as a rotational IDL at the pro level. With a good first step and a low center of gravity, Davis has the ability to play through late lateral challenges and press into gaps as a penetration defender. His ceiling is tempered by problematic length and insufficient block shedding skills but he's going to provide value if given the chance to shoot gaps on obvious passing situations. A potential pass rush specialist who will thrive in the right fit — but flop in bad circumstances.