Tuesday, 9 February 2010

POTD: Anthony Davis, T, Rutgers


By Kip Earlywine

(NOTE: I'm skipping Russell Okung's POTD since Kyle already did a full scouting report)

Height: 6'6"
Weight: 325 lbs.
Unofficial 40: 5.24



Positives:

-Nice Size, long arms
-Powerful
-Strong run blocker that can pancake defenders
-Surprisingly good at reaching LB and holding 2nd level blocks
-Strong base: stops bull rushers dead in their tracks
-Very fast reaction to the snap
-Decent backpedal for his size
-Decent athleticism considering his massive size
-Very heralded coming out of high school
-Has some untapped potential
-Durable
-No major character issues

Negatives:


-Worrisome weight issues in his past
-Converted to tackle from guard in '08
-Inconsistent
-Slow and lumbering
-Feet look very slow other than his backpedal
-Lateral movement is a weakness and was exploited
-Frequently fails to square his body in pass pro
-Only really shines when he engages a defender straight on
-Lacks nastiness and attitude, I'd like to see more effort when he's beaten
-Can get owned by inside moves and edge rushes
-Not terribly smart, makes mental errors
-Probably not a proficient cut blocker (speculation)
-Seems like the perfect antithesis of a Gibbs zone lineman.

Sound Bites:

"Davis comes with a bit of baggage, but there isn't an offensive lineman in the 2010 class with a better combination of size and agility."
-Todd McShay

My thoughts:

Davis was very highly regarded out of high school. How many 6'5+", 330 lbs high school players do you see? However, that incredible size was also one of Davis' biggest adversaries. He showed up to his freshman camp weighing an astounding 361 lbs. In three years, Davis twice battled weight problems. Davis currently has his weight under control, but it could certainly be an issue in the future. And for a pure zone scheme like Gibbs will demand, weight control issues could be a big problem.

Starting with what I liked, Davis is obviously very large and powerful, and it shows in the run game. Normally when a prospect has that kind of size and power, you just assume they'd be NFL right tackles, but Davis is agile enough to manage as a blindside pass protector. He's not stellar and certainly has holes- but just being acceptable is a huge win for an athlete his size. Davis is not fast but he does fire off the snap very quickly, especially in pass pro. Notice in the clip that many times he's the first OL to step back after the snap. That's pretty impressive considering this was supposedly a weak area for him in high school. He's not as awful against the edge rush as I would have expected (and could improve with coaching), and anyone who tries to bull rush him is just wasting their time. He's also durable and his only character issues are pretty minor (questionable work ethic, sometimes late to things). While he doesn't arrive quickly, he finds LBs, takes good angles to reach them, and holds those blocks once he arrives. Davis could be a real monster in a man system. When he gets his body straight on a defender, he pretty much always wins. Davis is definitely worthy of a top 15 pick to a team with a traditional man scheme line.

Some issues that really jumped off the tape for Davis was that he frequently fails to square his body with a pass rusher. "Squaring" means to make ones shoulders parallel to the defender. Instead, Davis tends to angle his body so as to face the defender's left (inside) shoulder, meaning that Davis is leaning inside and exposing his own outside shoulder. If that's confusing, here's a simpler way to put it: Davis is giving up his outside shoulder and is almost asking defenders to edge rush him. And since his lateral footwork is pretty slow, that's a recipe for disaster, as tackles with that kind of size tend to be weakest against edge rushers. Of course, he might be doing this on purpose, since he seems to be even weaker against inside moves. So maybe he's sacrificing the edge rush to hedge against moves inside? Ideally, you'd really like a left tackle that squares up and handles both with ease. So it definitely leaves me uneasy that Davis seems to "cheat" and can be exploited in both of those areas. I'd be pretty surprised if Davis ends up becoming an elite pass pro LT in the NFL.

Another thing I don't like is Davis lack of passion on the field. When he gets beaten or schooled, he doesn't hustle after the play or even act upset. He just stands there and watches. The OL is one of the few areas on a football team where effort and nastiness can really make a tangible difference in the outcome of a play. I'm trying to think of a low effort all-pro OL, not many come to mind.

And while his athleticism is good for his size, its still a weakness in my opinion. Its not as if he moves like a 295 pounder or anything. His lateral movement is well below average and lateral movement is huge in zone scheme as most zone plays begin with a step to the side. When Davis glanced a defender, he usually lost. When he directly engaged a defender, he almost always won. This is a really important detail since zone is built around avoiding direct engagement and man is built around forcing it. Seeing how uncomfortable Davis looks against agile rushers that avoid engaging him straight on, I'm not surprised that he started out as a guard.

Davis sometimes blows assignments and makes mental mistakes too. On one play he slid inside and a blitzer runs right past him for an easy sack. Davis didn't even react until the whistle blew. Davis had a 2.5 GPA and a 890 SAT score. Gibbs values intelligence and savvy very highly, so this is another area where Davis would be at odds with the system.

Overall, I just don't see how Davis makes a lot of sense for zone teams. The Broncos drafted Ryan Clady, a similar prospect to Davis, and turned him into a star, but this was after Gibbs had left the team for some time. Clady is kind of the exception that proves the rule anyway. I think drafting Davis and hoping he's Clady would be a mistake. A much smarter expectation would be to draft Anthony Davis hoping that Anthony Davis will translate to your system. In this case, I don't think he's an optimal choice. Our system would play him to his weaknesses and minimize his strengths. I think he's a good player, just not for us. If the Seahawks draft Davis, I'll buy in because I trust Gibbs judgment and coaching ability. But I don't think Davis will push Gibbs buttons (not to mention that a Gibbs team has never drafted an offensive lineman in the top half of the 1st round before) so I think he's unlikely for the Seahawks.

8 comments:

ivotuk said...

I have to disagree with this comment:
"Surprisingly good at reaching LB and holding 2nd level blocks"

When I watched him he looked like a statue at the 2nd level. He would engage then just stand there while the LB would run around him and make the tackle. I also saw him completely miss a block at the second level that could have sprung his RB for a long gain.

He was great in pass pro but I don't see this guy being a great LT because of the one point that you made, he just isn't that smart and will struggle with double moves. His discipline worries me too and I have to wonder if he'll bust after he gets his big paycheck.

Kip Earlywine said...

The 2nd level comment is based solely off what I saw in a small sample size, its just a personal observation and could be disproven by a real scouting report.

The weight issues, the low academics, and twice being penalized for being late or whatever- it really does paint the picture of a young man that struggles with discipline. I think lack of discipline is one of the more under-valued red flags. At least we have a hard-ass like Gibbs to kick his butt, for as long as Gibbs stays here. But then again Gibbs could be a big reason why the Hawks wouldn't draft Davis in the first place.

Although doesn't this song and dance sound familiar: huge size, powerful, undisciplined, apathetic, unintelligent, controversial draft stock... that description sounds a lot like Michael Oher last year, doesn't it? That's what I think Davis will be. If he goes to an already talented man scheme OL, he could be this year's Oher rookie success story.

Wes said...

Will you guys be doing a POTD for Ryan Matthews of Fresno state? He and Jonathan Dwyer seem like very appealing options for the Hawks in the second round to me.

All of the POTDs are really well done though. I really enjoy reading them.

CLanterman said...

Davis is the type of guy that I hope he does well at the combine, just so someone else can covet him. I agree, he doesn't seem to be the type of fit for Gibbs' system. If Okung falls, I'd say perhaps we should get him, but I'm still stuck on Brown.

I just thought of a 'dream scenario' Kip:

1.6. Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
1.24 Charlie Brown, LT, USC (trade back from 14 and get a 3rd rounder)
2.8 Lamarr Houston, DT, Texas
3. Joe McKnight, RB, USC
4. Mike Williams, WR, Syracuse (to fill PC's need for a big WR)
5. Ciron Black, G, LSU (Dream if he falls this fall, but he’s looked bad so far, but I like him at guard)
6. Sherrick McManis, CB, Northwestern
7. Daniel Teo’Nesheim, DE, Washington

What do you think? It doesn't involve price, but the trade-off would be Houston and McKnight.

CLanterman said...

http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/draft10/insider/news/story?id=4901957

I don't know if you have insider, but wow, McShay's mock draft is as awesome as Rob's. It doesn't follow the cookie cutter pattern of everyone else, with McCoy being #1, JPP being #3, and Anthony Davis as the first tackle selected.

Kip Earlywine said...

Thanks for the kind words Wes. I have to warn you though, I'm not a huge fan of Matthews (so far). I'll probably give him a POTD but not for a while, I'm hoping to cover all the first round names of interest first.

Clanterman- I'd like to take a second and rave about that mock. Great job! Its well thought out from top to bottom.

I like that you stuck with the 6th pick instead of trading it. Trading that pick will be difficult and the return could be underwhelming. Barring a McCoy miracle, Clausen is probably BPA at that pick and makes a ton of sense for Carroll.

I think the #14 pick will be a very valuable commodity. If you want to trade down in the 1st, #14 is a lot more realistic. Making this move allows us to get Brown without reaching. I like it.

I haven't looked at Houston yet, and for all I know he could be over-hyped just like Odrick, but I do think DT should be addressed in the first 40 picks.

I'm definitely a fan of McKnight in the 3rd. His health/fumble risks will be offset somewhat by the low investment and low workload.

The Seahawks will definitely target a big WR in this draft. I kind of wish they wouldn't since so very few WR's pan out after the 2nd round. But I definitely think a pick like Williams is possible in the middle rounds.

I'm not sure if Black makes complete sense for Gibbs- however- I agree with you that he will probably be drafted as a guard and could be a nice value later on at that position (similar to Rob Sims, who converted to guard from left tackle and was a 4th rounder).

Don't know much about McManis other than he's tall and isn't slow. I'm really interested in how he handled zone coverage, but that's probably impossible to find out. Fits the Schneider CB profile.

DTN really has no business being a 7th rounder. If he had played for Florida he'd be a 3rd round guy probably. That said, I don't think he'd be an upgrade over Jackson. He'd be good depth, but that's a bargain for a 7th rounder of course.

Kip Earlywine said...

Oh yeah, regarding McManis, I did a quick google search and I found a list of corners at draft insider.net with quick evaluations

http://www.draftinsider.net/rankings/2010/CB

Here is what they said about McManis:

"Physical defensive back best facing the action. Effectively reads plays an shows a nice move to the ball. Lacks top end speed and likely best in zone coverage."

Sounds like we have a winner.

viagra online said...

well for me Anthony Davis is one of the few players that I can support for all he has done, he has had his low performances, but he is one of the most complete athletics I have ever seen playing football