Pro Day Tour Prospect of Day: Davis

Could Iowa nose tackle prospect Carl Davis be the latest Hawkeye to take the expressway to Green Bay? The two-year starter "shows good tools for the two-gap system," according to the NFL's head scout. (Reese Strickland/USA TODAY)

Based on where the Green Bay Packers deployed their scouts, we present our Prospect of the Day, featuring career notes and a large segment of his official NFL scouting report, courtesy of the NFL’s longtime head scout and frequent Packer Report contributor Dave-Te’ Thomas.

Iowa DT Carl Davis


— Davis started 26-of-43 games — 13 at left defensive tackle and 13 more on the right side He produced 94 tackles (31 solos) with 3.5 sacks, 14.5 stops for losses and six additional quarterback pressures. He also recovered two fumbles, deflected one pass and blocked one kick.

— As a senior, Davis received All-Big Ten Conference second-team honors from the league’s coaches and media. In 13 starts at right defensive tackle, he recorded 36 tackles (14 solos) that included two sacks, nine stops for losses and five quarterback pressures. Against Nebraska, he had one sack, two tackles for losses and a blocked field goal.

— Following his senior season, Davis was selected for the Senior Bowl. He was voted the Most Outstanding Practice Player of the Week by a panel of league scouts. That has him the No. 5 nose tackle prospect in this draft and a potential second-round option for Green Bay. He’d take the Iowa City-to-Green Bay pipeline traveled by Bryan Bulaga, Mike Daniels and Micah Hyde

"A guy that I looked up to," Davis said of Daniels, who has blossomed into the top player of the unit since being a fourth-round pick in 2012. "He mentored me, helped me to understand the Iowa defense and the Iowa way. I still talk to him today. He helps me through everything."

— Davis broke into the starting lineup as a junior, earning second-team all-Big Ten from the league’s coaches and honorable mention from the media. He was credited with a career-high 42 tackles (11 solos), adding 1.5 sacks and four stops for losses. He had one sack and four tackles vs. Ohio State and a season-high eight tackles vs. Michigan.

— It took a while for Davis to embrace the Kirk Ferentz “system,” as he saw action on the scout team only in 2010, followed by just six brief appearances in 2011. During preseason camp, his kneecap popped out and he did not play until the second game of the season. He then missed the final six games when the kneecap popped out again. The 2012 spring drills were also a “wash” as he was recovering from surgery to repair his knee issues.


2011 Season: Davis missed the season opener vs. Tennessee Tech and the final six contests when he dislocated his kneecap twice…The injuries required surgery to repair.


5.07 in the 40-yard dash…1.73 10-yard dash…2.91 20-yard dash…4.47 20-yard shuttle…7.91 three-cone drill…33-inch vertical jump…8’-07” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times…34 5/8-inch arm length…11-inch hands…84 3/4-inch wingspan.


Davis might not have “set the world on fire” in 2014, and he was actually out-performed by fellow Hawkeyes defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat, but teams still feel that much like most Iowa players, he might be ready to emerge at the next level. There are some within the scouting industry that are concerned that he spends more time jumping on piles (22 assisted tackles) rather than initiate contact (14 solo stops). He got to the quarterback twice and took down seven ball carriers for losses during the 2014 season.

After waiting patiently for his opportunity to start, Davis took over left tackle chores for Iowa in 2013, but teams utilizing the 3-4 defensive scheme also feel that he is capable of playing nose guard at the next level. Used mostly to stuff the inside running game, he made 42 tackles with four stops-for-loss as a junior.

The Hawkeye plays with a good motor, but does run out of gas late in games. He is best served playing in-line, where he can handle multiple blockers to free up his edge rushers and blitzers. When he plays at a proper pad level, Davis shows excellent tools for the two-gap system. He uses his hands effectively, but needs to do a better job of protecting his legs from low blocks.

Davis is a big, physical athlete with a thick, hard body. He has long arms, big bubble and large hands – the type that can easily add more bulk to his frame without adversely affecting his overall quickness. He is a rare-sized defender who is not only light on his feet, but also possesses very impressive strength. He shows a fluid running stride and a good feel for leverage and balance. His straight-line charge is explosive and he generates a bone-jarring hand punch coming off the snap.

When Davis is able of being sudden charging from the backside, he has the ability to shock blockers back on their heels with his quickness and strength. He holds his ground firmly at the point of attack, but will struggle to disengage when he gets high in his stance, letting blockers attack his body. He plays with a good motor, but does run out of gas late in games. He is best served playing in-line, where he can handle multiple blockers to free up his edge rushers and blitzers.

When Davis plays at a proper pad level, he shows good tools for the two-gap system. He uses his hands effectively, but needs to do a better job of protecting his legs from low blocks (both of his knee injuries came vs. low blocks). He has the ability to set, anchor and hold ground at the point of attack when he hunkers down rather that getting too erect. He is also active with his hands to discard blocks.

As dominant as he can be “taking out the trash,” he is really not a great pass rusher. He is late at times locating the quarterback in backside pursuit and lacks an array of pass rush moves to get an edge on the offensive guard. However, he shows good force as a bull rusher shooting the gaps and gets a good push when he sees a free lane. When he spots the ball, he is capable of getting off his blocks and closing on the play.

Davis is not effective when used in long pursuit, as he will tire running distances. He has the body control to change direction working down the line, but is more effective when used in containment rather than in pursuit. He can collide and wrap with effectiveness and is a physical striker in closed quarters, tossing blockers around while showing urgency to make the play.

As a pass rusher, he gets some push, but does not generate a quick swim move. As a bull rusher, he has the ability to destroy offensive guards and centers in his path. He can mash the pocket with good power, but even with his timed speed, he will labor when having to chase into the second level. He keeps his feet moving through traffic in attempts to penetrate and shows natural hand usage to defeat combo blocks. However, he can get a bit top heavy, resulting in him lunging and overextending at times (mostly in backside pursuit).

Davis is much stronger and physical than he looks, doing a good job when asked to bull rush or take on multiple blockers. He will never generate gaudy statistics, but his presence on the field will allow other linemen to not worry about double-team action to make the play. His knee injuries are a concern, but considering he will mostly serve as an anchor in the middle of the field, few teams will let that weigh in their draft factor. In a two-gap system, he could dominate immediately.

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