Alabama is the defending national champion and has destroyed every team they played in 2018 while going 11-0. Their point differential is absurd with Alabama scoring 536 points (48.7 ave) and allowing 144 (13.1 ave). The last team Alabama lost to was the Auburn Tigers; their most hated rival who happen to reside in the same state. Auburn didn’t just win in the “Iron Bowl.” They stepped on the neck of Alabama by winning 26-14 and allowing only 103 yards passing. If you remember, Alabama was a slight surprise selection into the college football national championship final four after being handled by Auburn last year.
The “Iron Bowl is again center stage this weekend and can be seen at 3:30 EST on CBS. Auburn will again try and derail the Crimson Tide’s quest for college football supremacy.
One of the players to watch in this game with NFL type talent is Javaris Davis, a redshirt junior cornerback, who could be of interest to the Jets as a 2019 draft prospect. Davis is 5’10” 190 lbs but plays much bigger than his listed size
Davis was a RB and WR in high school and a 1st team All-State player. But he was recruited as a CB by Auburn. He was ran track and was the state runner up in the 100 meter dash and the 4x100 relay. He has NFL bloodlines with his cousins Vontae Davis, Vernon Davis and Keith Frazier all playing in the NFL.
In 2015 he was a back up corner who was new to the position. He was redshirted and did not see any action aside from the practice field.
In 2016 he played in 11 games with 5 starts making 37 tackles, 1 sack, 7 passes defended and 2 INTs. He was named a Freshman All-American and a included on the SEC All- Freshman teams. His first start was against Clemson. He made 4 solo tackles.
Here (as a freshman) he runs stride for stride with the receiver. He he smartly gets his head around when the receiver looks back for the ball. The ball is underthrown. Davis makes a nice INT while being dragged down by the receiver turned DB.
Here he is again as a freshman against Alabama. He comes up to support the run and makes a heady tackle against Bo Scarborough who is 6’ 1” 236 lbs and outweighs Davis by about 50 lbs. This is a theme with Davis. He may not be a consistent wrap up tackler, but he is a very willing tackler who should develop better technique over time. This is actually a really nice play by making a 2 yard loss on a bruising back like Scarborough.
In the same game with Auburn leading, Davis makes a 5 yard TFL against Jalen Hurts. He is in press coverage and quickly gets off the attempted block by Calvin Ridley then swoops in to make a sure ankle tackle. This was in only his 4th start, but he played this very well technically by beating the block while keeping outside leverage and getting the tackle.
In 2017 he played in 11 games with 29 tackles, 2 INTs (1 pick six for 37 yards), 1 FF, and 6 passes defended. He started every game with Carton Davis on the other side while developing a reputation as a speedy corner who plays sticky coverage and will tackle. According to PFF he did not allow more than 5 yards allowed after the catch in any game in 2017.
Here against Arkansas Auburn has a big lead and Davis is playing zone coverage to guard against the big play. The QB scrambles out of the pocket. making an ill advised long throw to the sideline. This gives Davis enough time to break on the ball, undercut the receiver, and make a nice interception. His closing speed is impressive and he shows ball skills, although he does need work in this area.
On this play the receiver is lazy off the snap on a quick slant pattern with Davis playing inside shoulder coverage. This ball should never have been thrown because the coverage dictates a throw outside the numbers down the field. Davis is almost surprised the throw is made and he easily cuts in front of the receiver, making a gift INT. ULM was in this game and a sight adjustment should have been made by the QB/receiver. This play sparked an avalanche of points and an eventual 42-14 victory.
Earlier in the same game Davis is trailing the same receiver on a drag pattern as the QB escapes the pocket making a throw on the run. This is a pass that should have never been thrown as Davis has great coverage on the play. he ball floats slightly, and the receiver does not cut the distance between he and the QB allowing Davis to easily cut in front of him. Davis actually over runs the ball that is thrown poorly and behind the receiver. This is fortunate because had the ball been on target it was an INT. Still Davis is a little off balance and overzealous. He still should have made the pick.
Davis is a tough kid and is not afraid to stick his nose in and make a hard tackle. This will bode well for him in the NFL as a boundary corner and especially in the slot. On this play Davis is in man coverage as LSU runs a jet sweep to the right. This is a sure TD until Davis comes off his man and makes a strong shoulder tackle. I would have preferred he wrap up the player, but you cannot argue with the results.
This play is against Clemson late in the first half with Clemson trying to come out of the shadow of it’s own goal line. Davis is in off coverage on a quick slant, but Davis recognizes the play moving swiftly from a backpedal to a sprint. He closes fast and makes a sure, violent tackle on the receiver. This leaves Clemson in a precarious 3rd and 4 play coming up. It also makes that receiver reluctant to run another quick slant anytime soon.
In 2018 Davis has started 8 games so far this year making 31 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 57 yard INT and 7 passes defended. There is scant video available to me at this time on this season, but I should have some relatively soon.
Davis this year has allowed 17 receptions on 36 targets (47%) with a passer rating when targeted of 68.3, which is very poor. He was timed in spring practice at 4.24/40 and hand timed at 4.20/40, which I find hard to believe. He is quick and fast, but I think he is more in the range of 4.37-4.40 but we will see at the Combine.
Davis is a work in progress (as is true with all college CB’s), but he is still only in his 3rd year of playing the position and has made great improvements in his technique. He still needs work on ball skills which is a slight surprise considering he was a WR in HS. His footwork is sloppy at times and he can occasionally get lost in coverage. He does have the requisite talent to be a lockdown corner in the NFL. He will need hard work and a quality coach who will make him work. He will also need to add muscle to compete in press coverage at the next level. His hips are a little tight, but he can address that by doing an assortment of agility drills, we will see how he progresses.
Davis will probably be viewed by NFL GMs as a slot corner because of his size, which may be a good place for him to start. This also may decrease his Draft stock a little he could slip down into the 3rd round all things being equal.
I think Davis could be a quality selection with one of the Jets’ 3rd round picks. That is as long as Davis doesn’t blow up the Combine, especially if he throws a low 40 time which people seem to be enamored with.