DL Raekwon Davis to Forgo 2019 NFL Draft, Return to Alabama for Senior Season

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2019

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07:  Raekwon Davis #99 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts during the fourth quarter against the Clemson Tigersin the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Alabama defensive lineman Raekwon Davis announced his intention to return for his senior season Wednesday.

Davis, a junior, recorded 55 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2018. His numbers marked a sizable decline from 2017 when he earned first-team All-SEC honors and looked like a potential top-10 selection.

While still a productive member of the nation's best defense, Davis had a rocky 2018. Not only were his numbers down, but he was also disciplined for punching an opponent in the Tide's game against Missouri. He did not play in the first half against Tennessee.

That said, Davis still commands the respect of opponents, and his teammates rave about his physical tools.

"Raekwon's just a different human," Quinnen Williams told reporters in August. "He's so huge and he's so athletic. To be that big and strong and never get tired, he's just an animal I've never seen before."

Williams opened the season as a relative unknown and is now a top-10 pick in his own right. Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne have gone in the first round the last two seasons out of Alabama.

Davis was listed as the No. 25 player on the big board of Bleacher Report's Matt Miller. He almost certainly would have been a first-round pick in 2019, though how high he would have gone would have been dependent on his workouts. 

Coming back for his senior year may wind up allowing him re-establish himself as a top-five pick. 

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