2020 NFL Draft scouting report of Nebraska interior defensive lineman Khalil Davis.
Khalil Davis was a four-year contributor on the Nebraska defensive line and a full-time starter in 2019. Despite not starting a single game in 2018, Davis was an Honorable-Mention All-Big Ten selection and was named Nebraska Defensive Lineman of the Year. He won the DLOY award again in 2019 and was a third-team All-Big Ten selection this time around.
Davis had an impressive career on the gridiron for Nebraska, but that is not where his athletic production stops. Khalil Davis and his twin brother Carlos were defensive line teammates at Nebraska and they were also track and field teammates for the Huskers. Khalil Davis was an Honorable-Mention All-American in track and field for his performance in the discus.
Carlos Davis is another interesting 2020 NFL Draft prospect who could grow into an impact player at the next level. That being said, Khalil Davis is the better football player who has a better chance to make an immediate impact and more long-term upside. Today, we are going to focus on Khalil Davis and try to understand how he can make an impact as an interior defensive lineman at the next level.
Name: Khalil Davis
Weight: 308 pounds
Hand Size: 9 ¾ inches
Arm Length: 31 ½ inches
Career Stats (36 games): 105 total tackles (24 for loss) and 13 sacks
2019 Stats (11 games): 44 total tackles (11 for loss) and 8 sacks
40-Yard Dash: 4.75 seconds
Bench Press: 32 reps
Combine measurements and athletic testing numbers come via NFL.com.
Khalil Davis lacks ideal length as an interior defensive lineman and it does hurt him at times. If he does not win off of the snap, Davis will typically lose the rep due to his shorter arms. This also hurts his ability to tackle in space a bit.
While he is not built like an ideal defensive lineman, Davis has an exciting overall skill-set that gives him fantastic upside at the next level. Davis is an extremely quick and athletic interior defensive lineman who gets off of the ball in an instant and consistently gets great penetration through the line of scrimmage.
He shows an explosive first step and the ability to get consistent upfield burst. Davis also has heavy and powerful hands that allow him to work through blocks well. He does not show high-level functional strength, but Davis does have some explosive power that makes him a difficult player to handle in the middle of the field. He also shows nice flexibility and good bend for an interior defensive line prospect.
Overall, Khalil Davis has a ton of upside as a one-gap penetrator at the next level. He is never going to be a two-gapping run stuffer, but if an NFL team allows Davis to consistently penetrate and attack the from the three-technique defensive tackle position, he can be a dynamic playmaker.
Davis will likely always be a part-time NFL player who primarily plays on obvious passing downs. That being said, he can be a legitimate game-changer on those passing downs. Davis is one of my favorite Day 3 prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft class and he should be on the radar of every team starting in the fifth round.