Raekwon Davis | Alabama’s Monster Defensive Tackle

Since Nick Saban took over at Alabama the Crimson Tide have regularly produced big highly skilled defensive lineman that have gone on to be drafted high in the NFL Draft. With players like Marcel Dareus, A’Shawn Robinson, Jarren Reed, Da’Ron Payne and Jonathan Allen have all come in and made instant impacts. We now turn our attention to the next guy up in the massive Raekwon Davis looking at his traits to see what he has to offer in the NFL whenever he enters the draft.

Who is Raekwon Davis

The first thing that stands out about Davis is his size. At 6’7 316lbs he towers over most offensive lineman providing an intimidating presence along the defensive line. Because of Alabama’s depth and talent up front Davis barely played as a true freshman before being a rotational player as a sophomore. Despite the reserve role he was still able to reel off 8.5 sacks and 69 total tackles. Now entering his junior year Davis is expected to step into the starting lineup as the Crimson Tide’s best lineman.

 

What Raekwon Davis Does Well

Raekwon Davis is at his best using his length arms and strength to take on defenders and hold the point of attack. From there Davis is able to play two gaps working to shed the block to make a play on the ball carrier. Davis has enough burst and acceleration to chase down the running back and make plays in the backfield. As a pass rusher Davis is a little bit raw but uses his size and power to overwhelm offensive lineman putting them on skates to get into the backfield. Because of his size and strength it is very common to see Davis get double teamed which helps free up teammates to make plays.

 

Concerns about Raekwon Davis

While Davis can be an elite run defender he still runs into issues at time playing too high (natural at 6’7) which allows interior offensive lineman to get underneath of him getting leverage and moving him off his spot at times. However the big concern is how he’ll be as a pass rusher in the NFL. Sure 8.5 sacks as a rotational player is nothing to ignore, but Davis relies way too much on his size and power to win. NFL offensive lineman know how to win against size and Davis he wants to be considered an elite defensive line prospects that goes early in the draft will need to develop some pass rushing moves.

 

Outlook

With an increased role it’s only nature to expect Davis to have a breakout season. But what I’ll be watching is how he continues to develop as a pass rusher. If Davis can play with more consistent pad level and be a more skilled pass rusher he has all the potential in the world, likely drawing some Calais Campbell comparisons. That being said he runs the risk of following the route of a lot of former Alabama defensive tackles who fall into the second round because they are more run stuffers. Davis best fit could be with a defense that plays a two gap system that has him taking on blocks and reading and reacting.

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