NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken
Week one of college football has come and gone. There were a lot of great games played over the weekend and some impressive individual performances as well. One such player was Carl Davis from Iowa.
As you may or may not know, I am an Iowa State grad and this weekend did not go as I would have hoped for the Cyclones. Add to the fact that I am scouting a Hawkeye for my first report, and you can imagine this was not an easy pill to swallow. It did not take long though for me to forget about the uniform that Carl Davis was wearing and enjoy what I saw on film. Let’s break this down a little further.
The first thing that sticks out when you watch Davis is his size and his athleticism. Listed at 6’4″, 315 lbs, he moves around like someone much smaller. He moves well on his feet and can cover a lot of ground for someone his size. Davis was almost unblockable when he went 1 on 1 against an offensive lineman. He used a nice combination of power and technique to get into the backfield on a consistent basis.
He shows a good first step and has a nice burst at the snap. Davis possesses a powerful upper body and uses his hands well to disengage from his opponent. He also showed quick hands while using a bull rush and swim move on several occasions and ended up barely being touched using the latter. When facing double teams, Davis showed the ability to anchor his lower body and hold his ground. On multiple occasions, he was even able to shed both blockers and wrap up the running back and make the tackle.
There are not many, and the ones I do mention are more nitpicking than anything. One aspect I wanted to bring up was play recognition. For most of the game, it was good, but on a couple of plays I had issues with what he was doing. On a touchdown run in the first half that was ultimately called back because of penalty, I saw Davis just put his head down and actually run right into the back of his teammate. The run went right where Davis should have been. He had a similar play in the 2nd half where it seemed he zigged when everyone else zagged. Like I said, it was only a couple of plays, so even I recognize that is going to happen from time to time.
Although not really mentioned on the game cast or anywhere really, Davis did miss a couple of series, NEPD editor James Christnsen—who was at the game—told me it seemed he may have been dealing with a lower body injury. It didn’t seem serious as he did return to the game and it is not really a negative, but just something to make note of. I did notice after the absence that he did lose leverage and technique from time to time.
I know that UNI is not an FBS powerhouse, but they are a well coached, scrappy team that gave Iowa all they could handle. Carl Davis however, was about as dominant as you could get, especially in the first half. Without his performance, Hawkeye fans may be feeling as bad as I do about my Cyclones and UNI could have been considered the best team in the state. I think Davis’s overall game translates really well to the next level. He has NFL size and athleticism. I think he could be scheme diverse, playing DT in a 4-3 or DE in a 3-4. He excels in both run defense as well as getting interior pressure on the QB. If he continues to play like he did against UNI, I think he would be a great fit for the Patriots scheme. The only question then is will he even be available when the Patriots are on the clock.