Eagles All-22 movie review: Jordan Davis will be hugely important on defense

With the 2022 NFL Draft over, it’s time for some theaters on this year’s rookie class. I will try to reach all players and some UDFAs over the next few weeks. There are obviously a million scouting profiles out there, so this is just my opinion, but I tried to back up basically everything I said with movie clips. I watched a lot of all22 on a number of rookies, but I can’t share those clips on my own Twitter accounts (or I might get blocked), so I used a few other accounts here. Let’s go!

Strengths

+ Impressive lateral movement and reach for great TD, can stop outside runs. He is a great defender of running.

+ Fast feet, moves like a much lighter man. The athletics are out of this world for someone his size.

+ Simply huge frame and strong anchor.

+ Has real power and will bring the lineman back into the quarterback, especially on the rare occasions when he doesn’t double team.

+ Can ‘stack and throw’ the offensive lineman and sometimes make them look stupid. Can throw the offensive lineman out of him with insane force

+ Has he ever missed a tackle? When he gets his hands on you, it seems to be over.

+ Has an absurd ability to shoot through gaps when not prompted to 2gap given his size.

+ Believe it or not, he can actually chase QBs when they try to make plays out of the structure.

Weaknesses

FYI – A lot of the weaknesses are very hard to show on film because they’re not related to what he did on the pitch, but rather what we didn’t see.

– His biggest weakness is conditioning and if he can handle more shots. We all know now that he only played 38% of snaps last season and obviously we need him to play more.

– Limited pass rushing moves, didn’t get a chance to see him ignore his responsibilities and tackle the quarterback on 3rd down.

– Doesn’t get as much constant inner thrust as one would expect from a man of his size. Play high and sometimes lose the leverage battle.

Globally

Jordan Davis is an absolutely fascinating player to watch and project going forward. You all know how athletic he is and how good the metrics are, we won’t go into details here. I just want to focus on the tape and what I saw of him.

Those who criticize him and call him an early downhill defender are absolutely right. He just didn’t get a chance to play 3rd down steadily, which is when you can ignore gap responsibilities in the running game and really get after the quarterback. He just didn’t get the chance to do it. Whether it’s because he can’t do it or because he can’t play as many snaps due to a fitness issue, I don’t know. However, from his tape, I find it impossible to believe that someone with their first step and power can’t contribute to rushing passing situations that go forward.

Jordan Davis will be extremely (literally) important to the Eagles defense going forward. We know Gannon wants to play with 2-high safeties a lot and we know that means lighter boxes and that will lead to the offense heading the ball. Therefore, having a baseline TD that can play a part in stopping the run is so important in the modern NFL. Even if Jordan Davis never develops his pass rushing and only plays on early downs, he could still be absolutely vital to the Eagles moving forward.

I think Davis is going to come into the NFL as a really good starter for the first downs. I don’t think it will be too long before Davis is considered an elite early-stage defender. He’s not the finished project and needs coaching, but the talent jumps out on film and you clearly see some elite traits from him, in terms of the speed and power of a man his size.

As for throwing him forward, I think he will have the chance to play on 3rd down as he progresses throughout his career. I think he will have the strength and quickness to take on attacking guards and I think teams will instantly want to double him which will help free up other defensive tackles and give defenders EDGE on the outside.

Davis has been one of the most exciting defensive linemen to come into the league in a few years and I’m thrilled to see him develop for the Eagles. I think there are legitimate concerns about him as a player, especially his lack of playing time and whether he can physically handle more snaps, but the upside is massive.

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