Carl Davis: 2015 Baltimore Ravens Rookie Predictions


Sep 6, 2014; Iowa City, IA, USA;Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker Quinton Alston (52) and defensive lineman Carl Davis (71) celebrate a fourth quarter stop against the Ball State Cardinals at Kinnick Stadium. Iowa defeated Ball State 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Many, including Carl Davis himself, feel like the Baltimore Ravens got quite a steal when they selected the former Iowa defensive tackle late in the 2015 NFL Draft’s third round.  A top 50 draft eligible player based on talent alone, Davis slipped in the draft due to concerns over his “inconsistent motor” on tape.

Scouts were concerned that as an every down player for the Hawkeyes, Davis tended to take plays off from time to time.  The big man was obviously not amused by the fact that he was slighted by so many teams, which might just be a catalyst for him to prove all the doubters wrong.

"“It’s ridiculous – I can’t even talk right now,” Davis said following the draft’s conclusion. “I feel like I’m one of the best defensive tackles in this year’s draft. A lot of guys got picked ahead of me and that’s the chip on my shoulder. When I got a chip on my shoulder, there’s nobody that can stop me.”“When I slid all the way down to the third round, I was really down.  I didn’t know what was the reasoning for this. It was just out of my control.  It’s my job to make every other team regret not taking me early.”"

If that doesn’t sound like motivation, I don’t know what does.  But just how much of an impact will Davis make on a team that is fairly stacked at the defensive line position?  A big man at 6’5″ and 320 pounds, Davis has the size and ability to make a smooth transition to the NFL.  He isn’t a huge sack threat (3.5 over two years at Iowa), but he can push the pocket (14.5 tackles for loss).

Davis is also a plus athlete for his size, running a 5.07 40 at the combine and recording a 33 inch vertical. His long arms (34 5/8″) and massive hands (11″), combined with his tremendous power, make Davis a good bet to quickly crack the Ravens’ defensive line rotation early on in the season.

I expect Carl Davis to have a quick impact as a rotational player like Timmy Jernigan did last season. Davis probably won’t rack up a ton of sacks, but he will push the pocket and create some negative plays for opposing offenses.  Somewhere around 15-25 snaps a game is well within reason, as is 2-3 sacks and 8-10 TFL.  That would put him close to what Jernigan averaged in 2014 (27.5 per game).

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Don’t be surprised if Davis earns more playing time as the season progresses, however.  He has every bit of physical talent that you could want from a defensive tackle.  If he can improve his pass rushing techniques and show consistent effort on every snap, the sky’s the limit here.

With an aging Chris Canty and a host of fringe roster types ahead of him (Christo Biludiki, Lawrence Guy, etc.), those are about the only things that will stop Carl Davis from taking over in year one.  And with his readily apparent motivation, I won’t be the guy to count against it.

Next: Ravens Roster Breakdown: Defensive Line

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