Kalia Davis NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for San Francisco 49ers' DL

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IApril 30, 2022

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 23: Marshall quarterback Isaiah Green (17) dodges an attempted sack by University of Central Florida lineman Kalia Davis (22) during the Gasparilla Bowl between the University of Central Florida Knights and the Marshall Thundering Herd on December 23, 2019 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.  (Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6'1"


HAND: 9 1/2"

ARM: 33 5'8"








— Short, stocky build helps him eat contact and anchor in the run game.

— Great first step. Explodes off the snap.

— Good quickness across the line of scrimmage. Can fire off into gaps with relative ease.

— Above-average agility and movement when working in space. Finishes plays.

— Flashes of great upper-body strength and power in his hands.


— Foot speed slows down when engaged. Base ends up out of whack.

— Plays sawed-off despite good length. Constantly leaning and chest-bumping.

— Hand usage needs work, both versus the run and pass. Would help unlock his strength.

— Not an effective 1-on-1 pass-rusher at this stage.


5 G, 17 TOT, 4.5 TFL, 1 SK


— 3-star LB recruit in 2017. Listed at 235 pounds coming out of high school.

— Started the 2019 and 2021 seasons. Opted out of the 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

— Missed the second half of the 2021 season with an ACL injury.


Kalia Davis is a wrecking-ball-sized prospect with the power and explosiveness to be an intriguing developmental piece.

Davis plays exactly to the wrecking ball style that his short, round frame suggests. He flies off the ball with a commanding first step, allowing him either to shoot into adjacent gaps or bring the fight to offensive linemen right away. When paired with his flashes of outrageous upper-body strength, Davis has moments where he completely overwhelms offensive linemen upon engagement and knocks them into the backfield. From there, he typically has the movement skills in space to come off blocks and finish plays.

However, Davis still has a ways to go to complete his game. Right now, he struggles against the run when asked to do anything but fire off the ball and make a mess. Despite a thick frame and good strength, Davis can struggle to anchor in the run game as a result of a poor base. Likewise, when he has to work across the line of scrimmage while engaged with a blocker, he tends to leave his feet behind him and end up off-balance or stuck behind the flow of the play. Pair all of that with inconsistent hand usage, specifically issues with leaning and chest-bumping into blockers, and the end result is a prospect who will need a few years of work.

Davis has pass-rushing tools, but he similarly needs to develop his skills. His power and decent quickness give him the ability to win with raw athleticism at times, but he lacks a creative approach to pass-rushing at this stage. Davis will mostly be a pocket-pusher early on while he develops a better pass-rushing plan.

Davis is a good "guardrails" type of defensive tackle prospect. Just let him loose in one direction off the snap and allow his explosiveness to muck things up for the offense. With that said, Davis' technique is a work in progress, and he needs to find a more consistent anchor before blossoming into a full-time starter. He can be a quality rotational player and short-yardage defensive weapon right away while developing the skills to become a full-time starter.

GRADE: 6.3 (High-level Developmental Prospect - 5th Round)




Written by B/R NFL Scout Derrik Klassen