Just as anticipated, Philadelphia wasn’t content with sitting still. With the Houston Texans on the board, the Eagles traded for the 13th overall pick. In exchange, Houston received the 15th overall pick, 124th overall pick, 162nd overall pick, and 166th overall pick.
The Eagles then selected Georgia DT Jordan Davis, who might be the biggest guy in the draft. Standing at 6’6″ and 341 lbs, Davis essentially dwarfed anyone who came near him when he walked onto the stage in his new Eagles cap. But was it a good trade? Who is this guy? Let’s dive in.
Davis Could Be A “Huge” Boom Or Bust Prospect
That size is definitely the most attractive part of Davis. As NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein notes, he brings with him pure power to drive through offensive linemen, has hands that are pinpoint accurate to the blocker’s shoulders, and carries with him hand quickness to slap away a defender’s hands.
Davis also had some serious quickness to him, as he posted a 4.78 40 yard dash during the combine (along with a 32 vertical and 123 broad jump). That 40 time was the fastest for any player over 310 pounds since 2003. It’s definitely exciting to think of how that speed could translate into the NFL.
Of course, there are also negatives. Zierlein noted Davis struggles with a change of direction, has below average first-step quickness, and can be “a little straight-legged into lateral engagement.” Also underwhelming are Davis’ stats: he had just seven total sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss during his four college seasons, and two sacks in 2021. The “to be fair” in that, though, is the fact Davis was constantly double- and tripled-teamed.
Was It A Good Pick?
The Eagles certainly needed defensive linemen, and young ones in particular. Fletcher Cox (now 31) was brought back for another year, but his underwhelming performances suggest he won’t be here much longer. If the team gets their way, Davis will be a solid replacement.
Speaking to Bleeding Green Nation, Davis’ former coach — Chuck Smith — explained he feels the big man is a perfect fit for Philadelphia. “Jordan is big, strong and stout, and the first thing that makes him special is what people don’t give him enough credit for is stopping the run,” Smith said.
“The Eagles aren’t exactly known for being ‘the Steel Curtain’ when it comes to stopping the run. Jordan is the guy that when you’re coming out of the tunnel, you want to be running with him.”
ESPN’s Kyle Brandt also shared sentiments similar to Smith’s, saying he felt Davis had the highest ceiling of any player in the draft. “I know there’s some real high upsides on some of these guys. This is defying physics. Just not supposed to move that fast,” Brandt said.
.@jordanxdavis99 appreciation tweet 🗣️
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) April 27, 2022
Also important to note was the Eagles had 29.0 sacks in 2021, the second-lowest total in the NFL. They also had the second-lowest total in tackles for loss (672). But given Davis’ lack of sacks and TFLs in college, he’s not exactly a surefire solution to this problem, which is certainly frustrating.
It’s a tough pick to nail down a definite feeling on. There are some who believe that safety Kyle Hamilton should’ve been the one at 13, but Davis does carry the physical tools with him that are required to succeed in the league.