The Gators collectively held their breath in October 2016, as Davis was taken off the field with a left leg injury. He attempted to play through that injury, but suffered another a couple of weeks later and had to sit out three games and most of a fourth. League coaches appreciated his leadership and production (60 tackles, six for loss, four pass breakups) enough to vote him second-team All-SEC, however. Davis built a reputation in his first three years, stepping in right away as a true freshman to play in every game (one start, 24 tackles, two for loss) and earn the team's Most Valuable Player on special teams. He was a key reserve in 2014, as well, before missing the last three games with an injury (23 tackles, one for loss.) Finally getting a chance to start as a junior, Davis didn't disappoint with 98 tackles, 11 for loss, 3.5 sacks and four pass breakups.
Angular build with long limbs and a shredded physique. Excellent flexibility throughout his trunk. Can twist and turn to slither into gaps. Plus acceleration to chase all over the field. Scouts say coaches are effusive in their praise of his leadership, work ethic and character. Can be rude to company. Erupts from coiled hips with a jarring pop under the pads of oncoming blockers. Runs downhill with choppy steps in balanced, tackle-ready position. Effective in spy role with athleticism to mirror mobile quarterbacks. Has closing burst that could become a weapon as a blitzer. Wrap-up tackler with strong finishing rate. Improved his discipline pursuing to the sideline. Did a better job of leveraging running backs against the boundary. Forceful redirect of tight ends out of their routes. Good peripheral helps him spot crossing routes without having to drop eyes from the quarterback. Has athletic tools to become better in coverage.
Downhill routes to the ball can be problematic. Will step too far downhill and get trapped in traffic on counters or bounces to the perimeter. Needs to play with more consistent technique and positioning to properly leverage his gaps against gap plays. Lateral scrapes sometimes lack patience forcing him to overrun run fits and open cutback lanes. Sometimes prioritizes attacking blockers too high. Has to get better at seeing and working past the blocker and toward the runner rather than issuing so many physical challenges that get him behind in pursuit. Could improve with greater stick-and-move hand work to keep himself clean. Struggles to free himself when snatched by blocker. Average instincts create inefficiency with early, post-snap movement.
Sources Tell Us
"He's good. I don't care about some of those holes you are talking about. Kill him so maybe somebody will listen to you and he can fall to us. We'll take him." -- AFC executive
Praised for both his football and personal character, Davis has athletic gifts to go along with the character traits teams are looking for. His ability to cover ground, operate with loose hips in space, and finish his tackles make him a draft favorite for some teams. While it is easy to fall in love with the traits and potential, Will have to take better routes to the ball and learn to keep himself clean against blocks. Should be able to compete for an early starting job as a 4-3 outside backer.