Heading into the 2015 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills appear to have significant interest in Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis, who they’ve reportedly scheduled an official team visit with. Davis is enormous, standing 6’5” and weighing 320-pounds and fits the mold of a Rex Ryan defensive lineman. While many scoff at the notion of the Bills using their No. 50 overall pick on a defensive linemen, it’s important to note that Ryan’s scheme requires three starting defensive tackles, meaning that reserves and rotational lineman are needed.
Carl Davis played nose tackle in Iowa’s 4-3 defense, lining up at the zero or one-technique for the majority of his defensive snaps. He’s got incredible lower body strength that allows him to anchor and not surrender any ground against offensive linemen.
Against the run, Davis shows the ability to take on the double team, before shedding the block and wrapping up the ball-carrier.
While Carl Davis didn’t fill up the stat sheet at Iowa, recording just 78 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in the last two seasons, his presence on the defensive line allowed his teammates to thrive and make plays at the line of scrimmage.
Davis showed good awareness, as he proved to be capable of engaging blockers while simultaneously keeping his eyes in the backfield and tracking the play. In the following clip, Davis takes on a double team, but as the Ohio State quarterback scrambles he’s able to move laterally and make the tackle.
Davis gets off the ball in a hurry and consistently gets into the backfield, as you can see in the next play. While he misses the tackle, his penetration prevents the running back from accelerating and his teammate is there to make the stop.
Against the option, Davis is able to get off his blocks and move laterally, showing the quickness necessary to chase down a ball-carrier to the sideline to make the tackle.
At times, Davis relied too much on his physical abilities. He’d get reckless with his technique which caused him to take himself out of plays, like the following clip shows.
Against the pass, Davis is explosive off the snap and understands how to use his hands effectively to get off blocks. In the following clip, Davis is used on a stunt. He loops around the defensive end, before clubbing the right tackle and delivering a powerful blow to bring down the quarterback.
Davis is a powerful athlete that can overwhelm offensive lineman and force passers to get out of the pocket.
Davis is consistent and effective with his hands, an important trait that defensive lineman must possess in order to enjoy success in the National Football League.
How He Fits The Bills
Carl Davis is an excellent fit as a nose tackle in Rex Ryan’s one-gap defensive scheme. He has the strength and power to occupy blockers, but the quickness and relentless pass rush to collapse the pocket. Ryan’s defense thrives due to his fronts beating down the opposition and Davis seems like a player that’d be a day one starter.
Projected Round- Late 1st, Early 2nd.
Comparison: Phil Taylor