NFL Draft Notebook: Scouting Georgia Defensive Tackle Jordan Davis

2022 NFL Mock Draft prospect Jordan Davis #99 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
2022 NFL Mock Draft prospect Jordan Davis #99 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

The top run defender in the 2022 NFL Draft is Georgia’s Jordan Davis. Several traits make Davis a standout against the run including his massive size and outstanding strength. While there is no doubt Jordan Davis will instantly upgrade a team rush defense the question is how high should a player who has not been much of a threat vs. the pass go in the draft.

In this week’s NFL Draft Notebook we give our scouting report on Jordan Davis along with taking a look at the following

  • How some early free agent signings will affect the 2022 NFL Draft
  • An overview of the 2022 NFL Draft defensive tackle class
  • One prospect each NFC North team should consider taking on day three of the draft
  • And much more

Jordan Davis Scouting Report

Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis is a player who has transformed himself from a three-star recruit coming out of high school to one of the top defenders in college football last season. Davis started his playing days as a sophomore at Mallard Creek High School where he played on one of the best defenses in North Carolina high school football. As a senior, he played on a team that went to the North Carolina Championship game and allowed less than seven points in six games.

Coming out of high school Jordan Davis was rated as the 421st best prospect by ESPN despite being named to the USA Today 2017 North Carolina All-USA First Team defense. Even though he was not the highest-rated recruit coming out of high school Davis was able to make an instant impact on Georiga’s defense and was named a freshman All-American.

He continued to be one of the best run defenders in the SEC the following three seasons as well. Davis was named an All-American in 2020 and had an even bigger season in 2021. Last season, Jordan Davis won both the Outland Trophy and Bednarik Award along with helping Georgia win the National Championship. After the season Davis went to the NFL Combine where he put up an amazing 4.78 40-yard dash despite weighing in at 341 pounds.

When scouting Jordan Davis the first thing that stands out is his ability to stop the run. He is a standout in this area due to his combination of strength and size. Coming in at 341 pounds he is one of the largest players in the 2022 NFL Draft and is incredibly hard to move off the ball. He also has the power to go with his size and has a very powerful punch.

Another positive with Jordan Davis is his outstanding measurables which were only backed up by his impressive performance at the NFL Combine. In Indianapolis, he ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash among defensive tackles and had the best broad jump among the group. In addition to his impressive testing numbers, he also measured in with 34-inch arms which he does a great job of using to keep blockers off of him.

The biggest concern with Jordan Davis’s game is his stamina. He played in under half of the Bulldog’s snaps this season and was only on the field for 18% of Georgia’s third down plays. His lack of playing time raises serious concerns about his ability to be a three-down player in the NFL. He also tends to wear down on the field at times. This is especially evident after his first couple of steps off the ball, as he tends to lose all momentum. This is one of the main reasons he only has only accounted for 12.5 tackles for loss during his four years in Athens.

The other big concern with his game is his lack of production when getting to the passer. He has never had more than 2.5 sacks in a season, and only hurried the opposing quarterback more than twice in a game once this season. Despite his limited production in this area though he does show the potential to be a threat in this area. If he can stay in shape and consistently be set free to rush the passer he displays the quickness and power to register four of five sacks a season in the NFL.

When it comes to where Jordan Davis will go in the 2022 NFL Draft, he will most likely be the first defensive tackle off the board. He should hear his name called in the middle of the first round and one team that seems like a great fit for him is the Los Angeles Chargers.

2022 NFL Draft Defensive Tackle Rankings

Most underrated: Matthew Butler, DT, Tennesse
Tennessee’s Matthew Butler only posted 7.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks over his first four seasons in Knoxville. However, this past season he had a breakout year accounting for 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. He also led all Tennesse defensive linemen in tackles with 47 stops. Along with having a strong senior season, he was one of the best players at the Shrine Bowl. Despite his strong season, he is valued as a late day three pick by some NFL Draft analysts.

Most overrated: Phidarian Mathis, Alabama
Alabama DT Phidarian Mathis is a player who is being overrated. While he posted strong stats last season he lacks the upside to carry the second-round grade some people are giving him. While he plays with good strength and has long arms to keep linemen off of him, he has some serious limitations. One of these is his lack of elite burst off the ball which limits his ability to rush the passer. Another area he is only average in is his overall athletic ability which hurts him when it comes to moving laterally.

Biggest risk: Haskell Garrett, Ohio State
Two things make Ohio State defensive tackle Haskell Garrett a risky prospect. The first one is his lack of size coming in at only 6-foot-2. The second one is he is coming off two injuries over the past season. He battled an ankle injury most of the 2021 season and even played on the injury in last year’s Big Ten title game against doctors’ advice. He also battled a shoulder injury going into the Senior Bowl.

Sleeper: Dion Novil, North Texas
North Texas defensive tackle will likely go undrafted in the 2022 NFL Draft, but he should be able to find a home as a rotational defensive tackle at the next level. What really stands out with Novil is his quickness off the ball which has allowed him to collect 30 tackles for loss over the past three seasons despite playing nose tackle. He also is a player who will go hard down after down and plays with very active hands.

Player who had a breakout year: Logan Hall, Houston
Houston’s Logan Hall went from an undersized lightly recruited high school recruit to one of the better defensive tackles in college football. His breakout season was last year when he was able to account for 13.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks which beat his previous career highs of three tackles for loss and one sack. He was able to continue his rise up the draft board at the NFL Combine by running a 4.88 40-yard dash and posting a 30-inch vertical jump.

Outstanding tester: Travis Jones, UCONN
While Jordan Davis stole the show at the NFL Combine another player who tested extremely well is UConn defensive tackle,

Travis Jones. His most impressive number might have been his 4.92 40-yard dash which is moving for a player 325 pounds. He also had an impressive vertical jump of 28.5 inches and a 7.33 3-cone drill. His performance in Indianapolis will likely make him a second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

2022 NFL Draft Defensive Tackler Overall Rankings
1. Jordan Davis, Georgia (first round)
2. Devonte Wyatt, Georgia (first round)
3. Demarvin Leal, Texas A&M (second round)
4. Travis Jones, UCONN (second round)
5. Logan Hall, Houston (third round)
6. Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma (fourth round)
7. Matthew Butler, Tennessee (fourth round)
8. John Ridgeway, Arkansas (fourth round)
9. Zachary Carter, Florida (fourth round)
10. Phidarian Mathis, Alabama (fifth round)
11. Thomas Booker, Stanford (fifth round)
12. Haskell Garrett, Ohio State (fifth round)
13. Eyioma Uwazurike, Iowa State (fifth round)
14. Chris Hinton, Michigan (sixth round)
15. Otito Ogbonnia, UCLA (seventh round)
16. Dion Novil, North Texas (seventh round)
17. Marquan McCall, Kentucky (seventh round)
18. Demetrius Taylor, Appalachian State (free agent)
19. DJ Davidson, Arizona State (free agent)
20. Neil Farrell, LSU (free agent)
21. Eric Johnson, Missouri State (free agent)

2022 NFL Draft Mid-round Prospect For NFC North Teams

A look at one prospect who would be a good day three selection for each NFC North team

Chicago Bears
While the Chicago Bears will likely focus on the offensive side of the ball in the 2022 NFL Draft, they will also look to upgrade their secondary. The team needs to find some young players to develop opposite of Jaylon Johnson. A prospect who would be a good fit is Sam Houston State’s Zyon McCollum who posted a 4.33 40-yard dash and has 13 career interceptions.

Detroit Lions
While the Lions would like to upgrade over Jared Goff that probably won’t happen this offseason. However, the team could look to add a prospect on day three they can develop behind Goff this season. Local product Kaleb Eleby could be a good pickup in the fourth or fifth round this April. This past season Eleby threw for 3,115 yards and 21 touchdowns while leading Western Michigan to an 8-5 season.

Green Bay Packers
A position Green Bay has a lot of questions at currently is tight end. Last year starter Robert Tonyan tore his ACL which cost him the second half of the season. Backups Marcedes Lewis will be 38 next season and 2020 third-round pick Josiah Deguara does not look like the long term answer at this position. The Packers would be wise to invest in this position on day three of the draft and a player who could make sense is Iowa State’s Charlie Kolar who currently carries a fifth-round grade on my board.

Minnesota Vikings
One of the top priorities for the Vikings this offseason has to be addressing their offensive line. The team has not seen much from 2021 draft pick Wyatt Davis so far and will also be looking to upgrade over Garrett Bradbury at the center position. Nebraska’s Cam Jurgens is a prospect who could develop inside as he is one of the more athletic interior offensive linemen in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Scouting Notes

— A player who would be a good fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers early on day three is Florida’s Zachary Carter. Carter would be the ideal fit in their 3-4 defense as a defensive end. He would be a good fit in this spot due to his overall strength, ability to hold his ground against offensive tackles and long arms. He also has experience playing this position at Florida having played both defensive end and some defensive tackle. Pittsburgh has shown an interest in Carter as well having met with him at the NFL Combine.

— While Mitch Trubisky was the first free-agent quarterback to join a new team this offseason, he should not be looked at as the long term answer for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Instead, he will likely be a placeholder for whoever Pittsburgh drafts in the 2022 NFL Draft. One of the reasons he will be just a short term answer is that he signed only a two-year deal. In an ideal situation, Trubisky would start for two years while the team develops Malik Willis who the team takes with the 20th overall selection.

— It is looking more and more likely that the Jacksonville Jaguars will take a defensive end with the number one pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The reason why they will likely address the defensive line with this pick is they are spending big money on veteran players on the offensive line. The team slapped the franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson last week, and earlier this week they signed offensive guard Brandon Scherff to a multi-year deal. With them already investing this much in the position it is hard to see them also using the number one pick on the offensive line, but it would make sense for them to grab a tackle in the second or third round.

— A sleeper prospect who had a big pro day was Kansas defensive end Kyron Johnson. This past season Johnson recorded 61 tackles 7.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks which was enough to earn him an invite to the Senior Bowl. Unfortunately, he didn’t receive an NFL Combine invite though so his pro day was crucial for him. He did not disappoint at this even either posing 4.36 40-yard dash and 39.5-inch vertical jump. The big question with Johnson is can he make the move to linebacker in NFL because he is way too small to play defensive end in the NFL coming in at 6-0 and 231 pounds. Even if he takes a year or two to adjust to the linebacker position a productive player with his elite athletic ability should be able to stand out on special teams.

Quote of the Week

“ I don’t like playing with people that accept mediocrity…. I want to play with dogs.”

-Oklahoma Defensive Tackle Perrion Winfrey