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- Position: Gap Clogger (GC)
- Class: Senior (redshirt)
- College: Iowa
- Ht/Wt: 6'5", 320 pounds
Carl Davis was the lynchpin of a strong Iowa front seven this year. Used mainly as a zero- or one-technique nose tackle, Davis flashed the ability to be an impact player in the defensive interior, if he can learn to play with better leverage.
Davis is a huge player at 6'5", with massive hands and nearly 35-inch arms. That wingspan, combined with the weight of a defensive tackle, makes him a major roadblock in front of the offensive line. Davis has excellent core power and can anchor effectively, even against shorter linemen with easier leverage. When rushing the passer, Davis is capable of getting low and generating tremendous force to push the pocket, something he wasn't able to do a year ago. He has been developing some pass rushing moves, including a swim and spin, and plays with an awareness of the ballcarrier that lets him stay near the play. His hand fighting is aggressive and improved from last season.
Davis is explosive in the short area and moves fluidly, though he slows down when he's asked to move laterally. He often attacks one side of a lineman aggressively, is pushed behind the play, and doesn't have the agility to redirect back towards the ballcarrier, something I also noted with Jordan Phillips. Davis also didn't consistently win even against worse linemen. If a smaller player blocked him at the right angle, he would give ground in the running or passing game, as he couldn't find leverage to fight the block.
Davis may end up shifting positions slightly when he enters the NFL. While most of his experience is as a two-gap nose tackle, teams may want to use his size and power to set the edge against offensive tackles, allowing him to handle two gaps without giving up as much height to his opponents. The benefits are clear if you draft Davis: he is powerful, plays with a good IQ, is on an upward trajectory, and at times he flashes good pass rushing skills. That being said, he's not a tremendous athlete, he's still very inconsistent in delivering his pass rush, and he sometimes makes things easier for his opponents. He feels like an early second-round pick to me, which should explain why he's on Buffalo's radar.
Carl Davis talks at Iowa pro day. Did 28 reps on the bench today. Visiting Buffalo next month. pic.twitter.com/RygDSDEtYK— Tom Kakert (@HawkeyeReport) March 23, 2015