New Faces 2020: DL Carlos Davis

There isn’t much else to do while we sit here and wait for news about whether or not there will even be training camp, so it seems as good a time as any to bring back this series, in which we look to introduce some of the new players that the Pittsburgh Steelers have added to the mix since the end of the 2019 season.

The team added some notable pieces in free agency, which was important, because they didn’t have much to work with in terms of draft capital due to previous trades. They also made liberal use of the XFL’s closure, signing about as many players from there as the rest of the league combined. Even while claiming that they didn’t have a lot of roster room, they still signed a good number of rookie college free agents as well, enough that they had to release three players just to make room for them.

The Steelers used three of their four picks within the first four rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft to address the offensive side of the ball, first taking a wide receiver, then a running back, and rounding things out with an offensive lineman, with their second pick in the fourth round.

The last of the Steelers’ 2020 draft picks is Carlos Davis, a seventh-round defensive lineman out of Nebraska. He is a twin brother to Khalil Davis, who was drafted one round earlier than himself back in April, and they have been living together, with divisions in the house so that they could virtually meet with their teams privately.

Davis is by far the rookie draft pick for the team who will have the most significant challenges in making the 53-man roster, especially with Mike Tomlin making it abundantly clear that he is viewing Tyson Alualu as a primary nose tackle candidate.

Even with the Steelers losing Javon Hargrave in free agency, the trade acquisition of Chris Wormley gives them seven defensive linemen along with Davis. Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt are the mainstays. Along with Alualu, you also have Daniel McCullers and Isaiah Buggs.

With that being said, there is a reason that Davis was seen as draftable, and that’s because he has physical traits. He has good athleticism for his size, and the Steelers see him as somebody who can play both inside and outside. He has solid power and know how to use his hands. There are, however, a number of areas of his game that need work.

And unfortunately, he hasn’t had the opportunity to get that physical work in this offseason, because there hasn’t been a physical component to the offseason. That as much as anything is what is sabotaging his hopes of making the team.

Even if he does not, however, it stands a great chance of sticking around on the practice squad, which will give him the opportunity to develop. He is the type of player who could use a year of NFL coaching and motivation to get himself into the right place that he needs to be to be successful.

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