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Carl Davis, the senior defensive tackle from the Iowa Hawkeyes, enters the 2015 NFL Draft after starting the last 26 games of his collegiate career. In 2014, Davis was named Second Team All-Big10 after totaling 36 tackles, 2 sacks and 9 TFL. In 2013, Davis managed 42 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 4 TFL (and, again, was named Second Team All-Big10). For his career, Davis totaled 94 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 14.5 TFL. He participated in the 2015 Senior Bowl. Physically, Davis is a large 6’4″ and 321 lbs. He carries his weight well, showing explosive initial quickness, balance and good overall coordination. He’s not a fat 321; His weight is distributed well throughout his body and he possesses a thick lower-half. Davis plays with the kind of toughness and competitiveness required from the position; He’s a physical guy who is willing to stick his nose in the action. He generally plays with good pad level and leverage at the snap of the ball, but his consistency can wane from time to time. Davis is a strong guy, showcasing the ability to get into the lineman’s chest plate and drive him back into the quarterback’s comfort zone. His hands are heavy and fast enough. Davis flashed the ability to disengage quickly when making a play on runs in his direction while also holding his ground to eat space when double teamed. While he won’t be a true threat to get to the quarterback, he’s plenty big, strong and quick enough to disrupt the pocket’s integrity and get the opposing quarterback on the run. Davis possesses impressive closing speed that allows for plays in pursuit, although he is at his best in a phone booth and battling in tight spaces. Davis needs to become a more consistent snap to whistle guy, as there are times when he appears to be his own worst enemy.
BOTTOM LINE: Carl Davis is an impressive physical specimen who cemented his draft day value with a very impressive week at the Senior Bowl. He’s the kind of athlete who has deceptive size because of how well-proportioned he is and how comfortable and light he is on his feet. He brings a nice combination of strong, quick hands to the position and is a guy who will put linemen on skates when he’s giving 100%. At this point in his development, Davis projects as a player who will have a role on all three downs, as he possesses enough initial quickness and pop to collapse the pocket. He’s not a prospect that is going to fill up the stat sheet, but his presence will certainly be felt on a weekly basis. Davis has a chance to sneak into the end of the first round, but offers fantastic value at the top of the second.
GRADE: 7.9 (High-2nd Round)
-Submitted by Bryan Perez (@FirstRoundGrade)