From now until the 2020 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
#96 Carlos Davis/iDL/Nebraska/6’2”, 313 Lbs
-Possesses ideal size (height/weight) and strength along the interior
-Converts speed to power well as a pass rusher; good bull rush with a low pad level and leg drive
-Surprisingly agile mover; able to jump around blocks inside at times
-Uses hands well and stays inside of blockers throughout rep for control
-Adequate lower body strength to drop anchor against the run game
-Good motor; chases down a number of plays due to want-to
-A bit slow off the ball throughout games; needs to work on snap recognition
-Can hand fight too much; slow to disengage blocks on tape
-Length is a concern with 32-inch arms; shows up against bigger interior Ol and when he slides outside in passing downs against bigger tackles
-Needs to develop some sort of go-to move as a pass rusher to have a chance to stay on the field at the next level in passing situations
-Four-time letterman at Nebraska; played in 48 games over four years
-Finished four-year career with 125 total tackles, 14.0 TFL, 9.5 sacks, eight pass breakups, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries
-AP Second Team All-American as a Track & Field Athlete at Nebraska in the discus
-Four-time Brook Berringer Citizenship Team member at Nebraska
-Four-time Tom Osborne Citizenship Team member at Nebraska
-Invited to the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, where he clocked a 4.82 40-yard dash and registered 27 reps on the bench
-Twin brother, Khalil, drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 194th overall
Carlos Davis was not a name at iDL I was expecting to hear called for the Steelers on Day 3, but with the selection at 232 overall, he’s sent us back to the drawing board to dig into the tape.
Davis is powerful and well-built along the interior of the defensive line, providing a moldable defensive tackle for Karl Dunbar to work with.
A four-year starter at Nebraska along the defensive line and a standout discus athlete in the spring for the Cornhuskers, Davis brings some serious strength and athleticism inside.
The thing that jumps out right away is Davis’ power. Look at this bull rush from his freshman season. That’s on the road at Camp Randall in a huge matchup late in the season.
He has some explosion to his game too. This is a lightening-quick get-off and swim against Northern Illinois last season. While he doesn’t finish the sack, he helps his teammates out by applying pressure, keeping the quarterback in the pocket, resulting in a team sack.
Davis is going to fit right in with the Steelers’ DL room thanks to his motor and want-to, which I’m sure will be noticed by veteran leader Cameron Heyward.
I love that Davis doesn’t take any plays off, especially ones downfield. He tries to get a hand on this short swing to the running back against Northwestern. He disengages and chases don the back for a short gain. Coaches love that stuff from interior linemen.
This is my favorite play by Davis from the games that I watched following his pick. He looks like he’s going to lose the rep early against Iowa in the double team. He fights his tail off though, dropping his hips and getting skinny to slip through the combo block to make the stick near the line of scrimmage.
He’s not the most bendy pass rusher, but he uses his hands well to work himself clean and he does a great job breaking down in space to make tackles. I rarely saw Davis miss a tackle on tape, which is a major positive. If he gets there, he’s going to make the play.
Overall, I am comfortable with the Davis pick. No, he’s not going to fill Hargrave’s void as a run defender or pass rusher, but he can give the Steelers some adequate reps inside in a rotation, providing depth.
Games Watched: Wisconsin (2016), Purdue (2018), Wisconsin (2018), Northwestern (2019), Maryland (2019), Iowa (2019)