Sobo's Players of Interest #10: Bruce Davis

The UCLA defensive lineman has some learning to do, but has potential as well. Brent Sobleski takes a look at his potential as the NFL draft draws nearer...

Bruce Davis DE UCLA

Sobo Sez: Davis is an undersized defensive lineman who splashed on the scene two seasons ago as he continuously beat highly touted offensive tackle prospect, Sam Baker, when UCLA upset their USC rivals.

Davis played defensive end at 229 pounds at points in his college career, but bulked up to 252 pounds by the NFL Combine. The weight dipped slightly to 247 pounds at the Bruin Pro Day.  How much weight this prospect can carry long-term and still be effective is the question which needs answered as the big leagues loom.

Davis bounced back and forth from linebacker to defensive line early in his career, and he will have to make a permanent transition to playing from a two point stance. This is a transition the prospect did not openly embrace once before, but one which is being asked of him by NFL personnel. To expedite the learning curve, Davis is being tutored by former NFL defensive coordinator, Foge Fazio.

Davis does possess one of the most explosive first steps in this draft class. His forty yard dash times were pedestrian, but they do not indicate how quickly the All American comes out of his stance and bends the edge in his pass rush. His ability to get to the quarterback has been amply shown with 24.5 sacks the past two seasons.  The speed rush is his pet move but he will need to develop more options to get consistently beat professional offensive linemen. 

Davis has trouble anchoring against the run because of his lack of size.  To overcome bigger and much more physical offensive linemen, Davis often relies on his athleticism and relentlessness to mixed results.  

Possessing a great collegiate resume, Bruce Davis would be a solid mid round selection for any team looking to add more of a pass rush.

Tom Marino, NFL Scout: Undersized player who was a pass rusher first and foremost. I felt he was a very good athlete who can run and close as a outside speed rusher. Disappointing effort and competes within the running game. I didn't think his motor always ran on high when chasing backside . Proved io be ineffective in a two point stance. A one-dimensional player who should warrant mid round draft consideration (4 - 5).

Chris Steuber, Draft Analyst: Davis produced outstanding numbers at UCLA during his career, but he was a streaky performer. Playing defensive end at his size doesn't translate well to the NFL, and that's why he's switching to OLB. He lined up on the strong side in Mobile and played well, but he's raw and still learning. He doesn't move fluidly, and has to work on his awareness because he's so used to blitzing and getting in the backfield. He has to learn how to drop back and defend. Scouts will critique Davis' ability, but they won't be too hard on him because he's learning a new position and he already has a lot of ability.

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