D.J. Davidson NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Arizona State DL
HEIGHT: 6'3 3/8"
HAND: 10 1/8"
WINGSPAN: 6'8 5/8"
40-YARD DASH: DNP
— Massive build with decent length.
— Slightly quicker side-to-side than his body type suggests.
— Plays with good pad level and anchor. Can manage double-teams.
— High-energy play style, particularly as a pass-rusher.
— Constantly scrapping and fighting after engaged to free himself off blocks.
— Hand usage and upper-body strength are too inconsistent. Rarely takes over blocks with force.
— Feet can start to lag behind if he needs to work laterally while being engaged. Gets off-balance.
— Pass-rushing skills are limited to his relentlessness and decent lower-body strength. Nothing dynamic.
12 G, 57 TOT, 6 TFL, 0.5 SK, 4 PD, 1 FR
— 3-star recruit in 2017.
— Three-year starter.
— Suffered a season-ending ankle injury in 2018.
— 2021 second-team All-Pac 12.
DJ Davidson may not find himself in the backfield very often, but he can be an anchor in the run game off the bench.
Davidson is at his best when eating up space in the run game. While he does flash better quickness than his build suggests and can occasionally wiggle past blocks, Davidson tends to be better when plays are directed right at him. He does well to come off the ball with good pad level and maintain that leverage throughout the play. While Davidson isn't someone who can fire off into the backfield, he anchors quite effectively, even against double-teams. He is not the kind of player who loses ground very often.
Davidson can struggle when he's asked to get moving across the line of scrimmage or rush the passer, though. His feet can start to lag behind him when working laterally across the line, which can lead to him getting knocked off-balance. He will need to clean that up if he wants to become a more consistent and complete player.
As a pass-rusher, Davidson is mostly an effort and leg-drive guy. He flashes decent power in his lower body and rarely gives up on plays until the whistle is over, but that alone does not make him more useful than any other nose tackle at rushing the passer. Davidson will need to develop a bit more as a pass-rusher to add value there.
Davidson can comfortably play nose guard in any system. He has the anchor, pad level and physicality to hang in the pros. Davidson's middling pass-rushing skills and lack of dynamic ability to affect the backfield limit his ceiling, but he can stick around as a solid run defender off the bench.
GRADE: 6.0 (High-level Developmental Prospect - 5th Round)
OVERALL RANK: 223
POSITION RANK: DL23
PRO COMPARISON: Mike Pennel
Written by B/R NFL Scout Derrik Klassen