Jordan Davis is getting his first taste of the NFL and for a guy who weighs about 340 pounds, he seems to have a voracious appetite about training camp.
At Eagles’ camp Monday, the defensive tackle did some impressive one-on-one work against offensive linemen — using his strength and quickness to stir his teammates and observers.
Davis was equally adept in a post-practice news conference.
Davis, the Eagles’ top draft pick, talked about what he is learning at camp and the amount of help he is receiving. The Eagles hope the rookie, the 13th overall selection, is a serious part of their defensive line rotation.
Part of the Eagles’ isolation drills were between Jordan Davis and rookie center Cam Jurgens. Monday was the Eagles’ first day in pads.
“Strong, strong guy,” Jordan Davis said about Jurgens. “He definitely helps me get better. We go against each other. I’m grateful to have a guy like him, grateful to have a guy like [Jason] Kelce because sometimes I go against him, all the offensive linemen. I look at it as a mindset of getting better.
“The one-on-one is an isolated rep,” Davis said. “Every offensive lineman is going to be locked up so you have to work a move. My primary move [is] bullrush so you just have to work it. It’s a good way to see what you can do better, offensive line’s strengths and weaknesses and how to work around it.”
Some rookies come into the NFL knowing everything and sometimes learning nothing. Davis doesn’t appear to be that way. He was one of the captains of the national championship Georgia team last year and he says he wants to learn and improve every day.
- “My takeaway is you can always get better,” Davis said. “They want me to work the bullrush but I try to add a little to my bag.
- “Once I get the things down pat that I want to get down, I just add tools to the toolbox and you never run out.”
IS DAVIS IN SHAPE?
One concern about Jordan Davis starting his NFL career was his weight and whether he would be in good enough shape to contribute.
“I think that he came to camp ready to go,” coach Nick Sirianni said. “That’s something I’m always obsessed about is are you playing to the correct weight. I’ve had experiences throughout my career of guys being heavy and their play suffering. I’ve had experience of my guys through my career of them losing weight of what they were the year before and having phenomenal seasons.”
“So that’s always going to stick in my mind … I know he came back where he needed to be, but that’s going to be something that we’re focused on. That’s not just Jordan, that’s everybody. I think he’s been running around well. Like I said, his weight was where we wanted it to be and his body fat was where we wanted it to be.”
Davis has impressed All-Pro center Kelce in an odd way — the way the rookie handles himself in walk-throughs.
“I think he’s 340 pounds, with a 4.7 [40 time], and is 6-foot-6 — he should be pretty good at football,” Kelce said.
“I think that even just in the walk-throughs — the stuff that I like is you can tell when a guy is in a walk-through, just by looking in his eyes sometimes, if he’s locked in or not, whether he’s focused and if he’s getting something out of it. Some guys go out there for a walk-through and they’re just going through the motions. That’s just wasting time. When he’s going through a walk-through … he’s sinking his hips right, he’s using his hands right, his eyes are wide.”
“When you see a guy’s got bug’s eyes, that means his senses are on alert, he’s taking everything in. That tells me he’s willing to grow and he’s trying to improve his craft. Those are the guys that when you combine that with the physical skill-set he has, it’s very good to see. But obviously we’ve only been here two days, so we’ll see how that evolves.”
Davis’ dedication to walk-throughs is part of his DNA. “Walk-throughs are mental reps,” Davis said. “They’re just as important as the on-field reps. You’re learning.
“There’s not a lot of buzz around it. It’s just you, the scheme and you’re learning. The walk-throughs are very important because some days you might not get a lot of reps on the field. But the walk-through reps you have to take into account. You take the stuff you learn from the classroom into the walk-through and the walk-through onto the field and it all goes hand in hand … You have to stay mentally focused. I’m at the point in time when I’m trying to learn everything. I want to contribute. So, of course every rep is important and every eye is going to be on me.”
Kelce, who is in his 12th training camp, has spent extra time working with the rookie.
- “I don’t know if y’all caught it but we’re doing extra work outside,” Davis said. “Just learning tips.
- “He’s not going to give me the whole game how to beat him but if I’m doing something right — walk-throughs, putting my hands there or just getting in the front side of him …
- “It’s just little things like that. I’m getting it from everybody, coaches, players.”
Davis was asked if any pieces of advice had stuck with him.
“The one thing that sticks with me is take it day-by-day,” Davis said. “One day might be better than the other, one day might be worse that the other.
“But you take it day-by-day. You keep clicking. That’s not even just football. That’s motivation in life. Those messages kinda stick with me. Football is going to take care of itself.”