Demario Davis has the size of an NFL linebacker at 6'2" 235 pounds and possesses the skill set to compete at the next level. Davis was a tackling machine for Arkansas State, accounting for 229 tackles over the course of his four-year career.
Playing in the smaller Sun Belt Conference, Davis was able to accrue many accolades.
Davis was a first-team All-Sun Belt selection in 2011 and had multiple Defensive Player of the Week honors bestowed upon him over the course of his collegiate career.
He has great lateral quickness and speed. Combine those attributes with his never-ending motor on the field and he should be a great asset, especially in a 4-3 defensive scheme.
NFL.com highlighted both Davis' strengths and weaknesses:
Davis can really run, and it shows in every play he is in against the run. He has a burst in short areas to move toward the ball immediately off the snap, and can run down almost any back to meet him outside the tackles and cover the outside run. He chases hard and fast every play, and would be an excellent option to play outside 'backer in a 4-3 defense in which he could play free and really contain the run from sideline to sideline. He is a good tackler once there and has that obvious explosion to drive through his hips and really deliver a blow on a ball carrier.
Davis needs to gather better when running down plays from the inside-out. He is so fast that he can overrun guys at times and fly off them as his momentum takes him outside on a tackle. Against one-cut runners at the NFL level, he could have a tough time gathering to make a secure tackle on the run. His athletic ability really doesn't translate to pass defense, where he can look awkward and out of place at times when playing within a zone. He needs to learn to better diagnose plays and could struggle against faster offenses.
Davis has all the physical tools required to succeed at the next level. He's a solid developmental prospect who could find his way onto the field as a rookie on third-down situations or special teams play as he develops into a three-down linebacker.
If Davis had played against top-notch competition in college, he would've come off the board much sooner. The concerns about his physical tools are minimal; the Arkansas State product has elite speed and is a solid tackler, and profiles well in the running game.
However, NFL scouts aren't sold on his ability to play the pass and suspicions linger about how he'll fare against the best football players in the world. If he can develop the other areas of his game, Rex Ryan and the Jets could be onto something here with their Round 3 selection.
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