NFL Prospect Watch: DT Davis leading No. 2 Georgia defense

Sep 30, 2021, 12:13 PM | Updated: Oct 1, 2021, 12:15 am

Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis celebrates after sacking Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, right, during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

(Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Jordan Davis has opened plenty of eyes as he leads the Georgia defense.

Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott drew in a deep breath as he recalled how the 6-foot-6, 340-pound defensive tackle blunted the Tigers offense in Georgia’s 10-3 victory on Sept. 5.

“I had to check my eyes,” Elliott said in wonder. “That is the largest human being I’ve ever seen.”

Davis, a senior, is certainly large. He’s also quick, nimble, technically sound and expected to go in the early rounds of the NFL draft next spring.

Davis has eight tackles in four games this season, including three behind the line of scrimmage. His value, though, comes in occupying two or three offensive lineman to free up his teammates to get into the backfield. As Davis has said, “If there’s two on me, somebody’s free.”

Davis played only nine snaps in last week’s 62-0 victory over Vanderbilt, mostly because he didn’t need to with Georgia up 21-0 just five minutes into the game. His workload figures to increase as the Bulldogs face No. 8 Arkansas, No. 22 Auburn and No. 10 Florida in three of their next four games.

Davis would have likely been a mid-round NFL selection this past spring had he left. However, he wanted to return, in part to help his teammates chase a national championship.

Davis has excelled at showing his speed, as he’s become an every-down defender capable of pressuring quarterbacks.

“He was an immovable object, and that was great. But that only gets you so far,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said earlier this season. “To get tackles for a loss, you’ve got to be quick, you’ve got to stunt-step, you’ve got to have twists, you got to have gains.”

Davis has shown all of that this season.

SIZE & STATS

Georgia lists Davis as 6-6 and 340. He has eight tackles, although his time has been limited because Georgia has taken large leads in the last three of its four wins. He has three tackles for loss and 1 ½ sacks. He has played in 36 games in four seasons, registering 6 ½ sacks and 36 tackles.

BIGGEST MOMENT

Davis’ play against Clemson in the marquee season opener put the college football world on notice that he had improved his game and Georgia would be hard to score against. Still, Johnson is partial to how he ran down the UAB quarterback to make a tackle in Week Two, something he might not have been able to do in past seasons.

SCOUT’S TAKE

Jim Nagy, executive director for the Reese’s Senior Bowl, is awed by Davis.

“Usually as a scout when you describe a guy as immovable, he himself can’t move very well,” Nagy said. “But this is an immovable guy who can also move.”

Nagy said Davis is good against double teams that allow linebackers to make plays. Davis also has the length to knock down passes and run laterally to make plays.

Scouts will be watching for Davis to continue his up-field movement and show he’s a three-down lineman at the next level, like Derrick Brown of Carolina and Javon Kinlaw of San Francisco, according to Nagy.

Davis’ strength and speed make him unique, and Nagy described his skill set this way: “I think they’re kind of unicorns.”

“The more he can get in front of NFL teams, the better off he’ll be,” said Nagy, who met Davis at SEC Media Days. “His personality and character will sell itself.”

DRAFT WATCH

He currently fits in as a likely late first-round or early second-round pick, although his stature seems to rise each week Georgia’s defense keeps another opponent out of the end zone. Before the season, Pro Football Focus had Davis ranked as the country’s second-best NFL draft prospect for the defensive interior behind only DeMarvin Leal of Texas A&M.

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa talks to reporters in the dugout before a baseball game aga...
Associated Press

La Russa steps down as White Sox manager over heart issue

CHICAGO (AP) — Tony La Russa stepped down as manager of the Chicago White Sox on Monday because of a heart issue, ending a disappointing two-year run in the same spot where the Hall of Famer got his first job as a big league skipper. La Russa, a three-time World Series champion who turns 78 […]
14 hours ago
Leicester's James Maddison, centre, celebrates next to Wout Faes, left and Jamie Vardy after scorin...
Associated Press

Leicester earns first EPL win, drops Forest into last place

LEICESTER, England (AP) — Getting 22 new signings to gel is proving to be a mightily difficult task for Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper. A 4-0 loss at previously winless Leicester dropped Forest into last place in the English Premier League on Monday, leaving Cooper at risk of becoming the latest top-flight manager to lose […]
14 hours ago
FILE - Baltimore pitcher Jim Palmer (22) delivers during a World Series game, Monday, Oct. 11, 1971...
Associated Press

Complete games disappearing in baseball’s Analytics Age

NEW YORK (AP) — Jim Palmer thought back to 1971, when Baltimore Orioles pitching coach George Bamberger kept scrawling marks on the underside of his cap’s brim. “George, what is that?” the Hall of Fame pitcher recalled asking. “He said, ‘I have a complete game clause. If you guys get 50 or more complete games, […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Authorities probing report of scandal at fishing tournament

CLEVELAND (AP) — The county prosecutor’s office in Cleveland has opened an investigation into an apparent cheating scandal during a lucrative walleye fishing tournament on Lake Erie last week. A video posted to Twitter shows Jason Fischer, tournament director for the Lake Erie Walleye Trail, cutting open the winning catch of five walleye on Friday […]
14 hours ago
Alex Bowman (48), Joey Logano (22), Austin Cindric (2), Justin Allgaier (62) and Ty Gibbs (23) are ...
Associated Press

Column: ‘We need to fix it’ safety concerns dogging NASCAR

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR’s beleaguered new car somehow made it out of Talladega Superspeedway in the cleanest race yet of this year’s playoffs. It did little to quell the safety concerns surrounding the Next Gen car that debuted this season. The first four playoff races were a disastrous mess of car fires, broken parts […]
2 days ago
Miami Dolphins quarterback Teddy Bridgewater hands off during the first half of an NFL football gam...
Associated Press

Dolphins’ Tagovailoa ruled out for Sunday’s game at Jets

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been ruled out for Sunday’s game at the New York Jets. Tagovailoa, who suffered a concussion last Thursday at Cincinnati when he took a scary sack from Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou, was stretchered off the field and immediately taken to the hospital. He flew […]
2 days ago
NFL Prospect Watch: DT Davis leading No. 2 Georgia defense