Name: DeMario Davis
College: Arkansas State
Proj. Draft Position: 5th round
Key Stats; 69 tackles, 10 TFL, 3 Sacks, 4 PBU, 0 FF in 2011
63 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 PBU, 2 FF in 2010
Career Accolades: 2011 All Sun Belt 1st Team, Sun Belt Honor Roll
2010 All Sun Belt 1st Team, Sun Belt Honor Roll
Best Comparison: D.J. Williams
Any questions as to whether Demario Davis has the physical tools to compete at the NFL level, were dispelled at the combine, where Davis outperformed all outside linebackers, finishing first in the bench press, vertical leap, and broad jump, second in the 40, and third in the short shuttle. And his athleticism translates to the field, where Davis flashes elite speed, acceleration, strength, and explosiveness, not to mention an ultra-high intensity and a genuine nasty streak. Versus the run, he showcases a good first step and suddenness off the snap, and is quick to bring the play to the offensive lineman, either by penetrating gaps or stacking and shedding head on, which his is adept at doing.
He's a downhill player, who attacks like he's coming down a mountain. He takes good angles to the ballcarrier, closes hard on the ball, and tackles with a ferocity. Naturally, he can be over-aggressive and run himself out of position, on occasion, but he doesn't fly around out of control, and he demonstrates good instincts and a nose for the ball. As a man defender, he's stiff in the upper body, and lacks lateral agility, limiting his ability to shadow quicker backs and tight ends. But, he's quick to flip his hips, and, once he gets his body turned toward the opponent, his speed allows him to make up ground in a hurry, making him a more than adequate cover backer.
In zone, he scans the field well, recognizes routes, and closes quickly, exhibiting the same impressive acceleration and expectation of violence that he demonstrates versus the run. Davis' hands are average, at best, and his ability to make a play on the ball in the air is compromised by his lack of upper body flexibility.
He was moved all over the formation at Arkansas State, taking reps at ILB, OLB, stand-up end, or even out wide in coverage versus slot receivers. Davis looks like a natural SAM in a 4-3, with the strength and demeanor to excel in the run game, and the speed and instincts to cover. He's a fifth round pick with starting potential.