Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Will Davis
Will Davis (DE)
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 261
College: Illinois
Conference: Big Ten
Hometown: Greenbelt, MD
High School: Eleanor Roosevelt
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Arizona Cardinals
Round: 6
Pick (Overall): 31 (204)
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Pick Analysis: Davis had solid workouts throughout the draft process and showed impressive skills during his junior season, when he had 9.5 sacks. He took a step back in his senior year, but has the athleticism to succeed.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

Davis, a former wide receiver and tight end, registered 12.5 tackles for loss, including 9.5 sacks, as a junior to earn second-team All-Big Ten honors. But he took a step backward in 2008 with teams having a year of film to study, and his production plummeted (seven tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks). Davis has rare foot quickness and straight-line speed -- to be expected of a former receiver -- for a defensive end, though he was sapped of some of that speed by nagging ankle injuries. His lack of upper-body strength and hand technique usually means that if blockers can get their hands on him, he's rendered ineffective quickly. A team willing to spend a second-day draft pick could get a nice return on their initial investment if they can get Davis to work in the weight room.


High School

A member of the SuperPrep top-25 team ... Started on both sides of the ball ... Earned first-team All-State, All-Metro, All-League, and All-County honors ... Named to the Maryland Super 44 All-Star team and the P.G. County North All-Star team ... Averaged over 28 yards per reception as a senior ... Made 21 receptions for 579 yards and 10 touchdowns as a wide receiver ... Also recorded 136 tackles and 24 sacks on defense ... Had eight passes broken up, one safety, one blocked punt and four forced fumbles ... SuperPrep All-Region selection ... Lettered two years in football and track and one year in basketball ... High school football coach was Rick Houchens.


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Analysis

Positives: Good initial quickness off the snap. ... Can force the tackle outside with his speed, creating lanes for blitzing teammates or for himself to spin back inside. ... Rare straight-line speed for the position. ... Good effort to make plays in pursuit. Understands his role in the defense and generally plays with good contain. ... Can string the play out wide. ... Adequate lower-body strength to anchor. ... Good lateral agility and balance to tackle in close quarters. ... Ascending player who is still learning the nuances of the position after moving from offense to defense.


Negatives: Lacks the bulk and strength to consistently hold up at the point of attack. ... Adequately effective holding up against one blocker in the running game, but lacks the sand in his pants to split the double team. ... Struggles to disengage once the blocker gets a hand on him. ... Relies on his speed as a pass rusher and is essentially a one-trick pony at this time. ... Not often asked to play in space and has little experience in coverage, making the projection to a rush linebacker position a risky one.


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