2015 NFL Draft: DT in the 1st for Bengals?
To the delight of many fans, the Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has the Bengals taking a defensive tackle in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft: his pick, Carl Davis of Iowa.
Could defensive tackle Carl Davis become a Bengal in the 2015 NFL Draft? Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
At 6’5″, 315 pounds, Davis is a mountain of a man. Clearly a space eater, Davis’ job is to take up blocks and allow others to make tackles. His outlook on the job is reminiscent of current defensive tackle Domata Peko.
"“I took pride in making sure the linebackers were clean, taking up double-teams so ‘Hitch,’ Kirksey and Morris could make a play. There’s no selfishness about that: I take up the blocks, they make the tackles.”"
Last season, Davis accounted for 42 tackles while helping the Hawkeyes hold opponents to a meer eight rushing touchdowns. This year, Davis is on pace for similar individual production.
He expects a lot from himself and is preparing by watching much game tape this year.
"“If a guard might be sitting back, then you know he’s pulling — different things like that,” Davis said. “If the tackle’s in a two-point (stance) and the guard’s in a three-point, you know it might be a pass. Different things that give it away, things that we’re looking for.”"
Being a student of the game is an appealing quality in a prospect. Because of it, he does his job well while his athletic ability is nothing “to sneeze at.”
The downside of Davis is his lack of pass-rushing productivity. He only accumulated only 1.5 sacks last year and has only one through five games this year.
Between Peko, Brandon Thompson, and Devon Still, the Bengals possess many space eaters. Although Davis’ size and athleticism could upgrade the nose tackle play, some pass-rushing prowess would be more enticing from a “luxury pick” standpoint. The Bengals have many options along the defensive line who can move inside if need be, but another shorter, quicker defensive tackle–like Geno Atkins–would create a devastating dynamic duo in the middle of the Bengals’ defensive line.
With nine picks this year, and several in the middle of the draft, the Bengals will have “luxury” selections in 2015. Many fans have expressed wanting an upgrade in the middle of the defensive line or would like to see the Bengals add an offensive tackle early on. Andrew Whitworth is heading towards the finale of his career, but kicking him inside to left guard could be an option towards extending his time in the NFL; he played extremely well in the position last year, though Clint Boling has looked great this year following his recovery from an ACL tear. Davis is an interesting prospect to keep your on eye, but with so much football to play before next year’s draft, there’ll undoubtedly be plenty more.