Alabama’s defensive tackle Raekwon Davis told Pro Football Talk he’s been in contact with five teams the most and listed the San Francisco 49ers first. Coincidentally enough, the 6’6”, 311-pound lineman didn’t test well at the NFL Combine as he was average to below average across the board. NFL Network’s comparison for him? DeForest Buckner.
Davis had ten tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks as a sophomore. In two years since he’s had 8.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. I went back and watched him against LSU during 2017, and Davis came off the field during obvious passing downs and wasn’t winning much as a pass rusher, which is concerning.
Sports Info Solution’s rookie handbook graded Davis as the fifth-best defensive tackle in the draft and had him with the highest “play strength” and “shed ability” for any defensive tackle. Here is their blurb on him:
Davis is a big-framed and versatile four-year Crimson Tide defensive lineman who has all of the physical tools to be a three-down starter, but his pass rush has yet to catch up to his run defense.
Davis projects best as a 3-technique at the next level and a plug-and-play two down starter for run defense. He has the versatility to anchor from the nose tackle position and also the frame and length to set the edge as a 5-tech, but his combination of traits fit best over a guard. His inconsistent motor and pass-rush limitations frustratingly offset his run defense, size, and prototypical body. If he can put it all together, he has massive potential.
Davis has been the same player for three seasons in a row, so it’s safe to say this is who he is as a player. While he had big numbers as a sophomore, his pass-rushing grade for PFF was 62.7, which sounds like Davis was in charge of cleanup duty after his other teammates did the work. Davis doesn’t have a plan as a pass rusher. You’ll see a bull-rush, but not much else. The Buckner comparison is ridiculous because DeFo had a go-to pass rush move in college is quick. Neither of those is Davis. What Davis can provide is high-end run defense, and the 49ers can use that, especially up the middle. Davis has a ton of power, and his length allows Davis to stay clean and make plays. Perhaps San Francisco’s defensive line coach Kris Kocurek can get more out of Davis as a pass rusher.
Davis is projected to be drafted somewhere on Day 2 of the draft. The 49ers have been talking to a few defensive tackles that are projected to go in the second round, which is further proof they’re trying to trade back from No. 31 and acquire more picks.