Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Weight: 323 pounds
40 time: 5.36
A former top recruit who possesses an outstanding combination of size and athleticism, Anthony Davis is one of the top left tackle prospects in this year’s draft. A 2.5-year starter for the Scarlet Knights, Davis started at right guard mid-way through his true freshman year before moving to left tackle for his sophomore and junior seasons.
Anthony has a prototypical frame for a left tackle in the NFL: he’s 6-5, has long arms (34-inches), and his greatest strength is his athleticism. Davis excels as a pass blocker, where he is capable of mirroring the defensive end with ease. He uses his hands and his long arms well, and he also uses his strength to physically overpower the defensive end at the point of attack. Anthony gets great positioning on the defensive lineman out on the edge; once he gets a hold of the defender, he’s able to push him to one side or the other while also maintaining his strength at the point of attack. Davis typically plays with good leverage and he’s relatively stout at the point of attack in the run game.
What I like about Anthony is that he’s one of the best offensive linemen in this year’s draft at blocking in the open space. He has the speed, agility, and athleticism to pull out and block on the move; he did this at Rutgers often when they ran the Wildcat formation. He’s also capable of consistently being able to get to the second level to block the linebacker. Davis is more of a finesse offensive tackle, in that he uses his athleticism to get the job done, rather than being a mauler on the line.
He lacks the energy and tenacity that you look for in an offensive lineman, and I question whether or not he has a killer instinct. Davis had some off-field problems while at Rutgers, which is another reason why I question his overall instincts. In 2008 he was suspended for one game for violating team rules; in 2009 he missed a team meeting and was benched for one quarter against Army, but was forced into action early because of injury. Anthony has also had trouble keeping his weight in check; he was demoted to the second team before his junior year for showing up overweight; Anthony’s maturity is a big question mark. In addition to this, he has been a relatively inconsistent player over the course of his career for Rutgers; he didn’t always show the type of elite-play that you’d expect to see from a player so big and with so much talent.
On the field, I’d like to see Davis quicken up his kick-slide; he currently has elongated steps, however if he is able to work on getting shorter, quicker steps, it should make him a better player than he already is. I’d also like to see him work on getting a better jump off the ball; he struggles to reach block because he’s isn’t fast enough off the snap yet. Anthony is raw in several areas of his game, especially with his technique at the point of attack and playing with good balance, however these should be corrected with the added coaching at the next level. I project that Davis will be drafted in the first round, specifically among the Top 15 picks.
Anthony has the potential to develop into a franchise left tackle in the NFL with the talent to be an anchor on the quarterback’s blind side for the next decade. The combination of size, talent, and athleticism is why Davis is thought of so highly. At the next level, he’s going to need to get his head on straight and be able to concentrate purely on football if he wants to have a chance to succeed. He has all the talent in the world, it’s time that he puts everything together to become the complete player that he’s capable of being.
Notes: Anthony was named first-team Freshman All-American in 2007, he was named second-team All-Big East in 2008 and first-team All-Big East in 2009. Coming out of high school, Davis was ranked as the No. 2 player in New Jersey, as well as the No. 5 offensive guard and No. 68 overall player in the country by Rivals.com. In high school, Anthony recorded over 70 pancake blocks; he also received over 50 scholarship offers but chose to stay home and play for Rutgers.