NFL Combine Profile: Carl Davis


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Carl Davis has seemingly always had a buzz around him. Growing up, he banged on pots and pans with a wooden spoon next to his mother while she played her church music on an organ at home. At 7, he replaced the dishes with a three-piece drum set. He developed an innate ability to use his hands quickly, often without looking, a kind of muscle-memory and natural instinct that’s become a primary reason for his still-rising draft stock.

Indeed, the former Iowa defensive lineman — lauded for his playmaking ability, strength, and sound technique — has made waves in the run-up to the NFL draft. Davis opened the 2014 college football season as one of the best defensive tackles in the country, and after a season in which he collected only 2 sacks and 9 tackles for loss, he has continued to trend upward.

The 6-5, 321-pound Detroit native has impressed NFL scouts and league experts with both his size and prowess. Davis’s numbers won’t jump out of the box score, of course, but a look at his film proves he’s much more than figures that have come to define elite pass rushers.

“When put in one-on-one opportunities in Mobile, [Alabama], he was nearly unblockable, using his initial quickness, brute power and natural leverage to shine during drills,” wrote NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler ahead of the Reese’s Senior Bowl last month. “Davis was already considered a top-75 draft pick entering the week, but after this week, he might have cemented himself as a top-50 prospect.”

Even more, NFL media analyst Mike Mayock said before the Senior Bowl that Davis “did way more than that” before adding, “He played every snap, he showed athleticism, an ability to push the pocket and get to the quarterback. He may have elevated himself right into the first round.”

But which is it? When a player is classified as a “top-50 prospect,” that usually means somewhere in the mid-to-late-second round, but Mayock believes Davis could go late in the first round. Other experts see Davis as a good fit for both the Detroit Lions and New England Patriots — who own the 23rd and 32nd overall picks, respectively.

So the question surrounding Davis isn’t if he’s going to get drafted — it’s when. And with the NFL scouting combine set to start on Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, there’s a chance Davis could climb even higher up the draft boards.

Davis knows this. On Feb. 13, he tweeted the following: “The difference between a winner and a loser is a winner plays until he wins. So get money.”

Funny he mentioned that, because regardless if he gets drafted on the last day of April or the first day of May, Davis will likely make somewhere north of $4 million for his first contract — which should be enough for a bigger, nicer, more complete set of drums.

Follow @codygoodwin on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa football team.

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