The defensive line has been a position that Philadelphia has taken pride in due to its dominance for so long. After somewhat of a down year last season, the interior defensive linemen should return to its imposing status this season.
The position has a healthy amount of big bodies to use for an effective rotation, but how can Jordan Davis get himself in the game more often, or potentially in the starting lineup?
Davis has plenty of work to do and ground to make up if he wants to work in with the expected starting duo of Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave. Hargrave put on a clinic last season, although he did not pile up huge statistical numbers, his work as the disruptive man in the middle was beloved. Cox has faced some scrutiny regarding the intensity of his play at times. As he enters what could be his final season in Philadelphia, perhaps Cox will turn his game up, or else Davis is right there to take over.
“I love Jordan Davis, I mean, I think Jordan Davis is going to make everybody else on that defensive line better,” said Merrill Reese on JAKIB Sports’ “Sports Take” last week. “When he [Davis] is going to be rested and he plays in certain spots, you put him in there, there’s nothing he can’t do.”
— JAKIB Sports (@JAKIBSports) August 3, 2022
The Eagles’ 2022 first-round selection has been thoroughly impressing the organization during training camp. He got off to a somewhat slow start due to the lack of contact in practice, but once he put on the pads Davis has been an absolute menace to society among his teammates.
His presence and the constant pressure that he provides were on full display during the public practice at Lincoln Financial field. While Jalen Hurts and the offense had a pretty good day, the pressure that was put on the offense was largely due to the impact of the big man in the middle. The strength and power that he brings will turn this defense into a force to be reckoned with every week. That demonstration of power was observed during his 1-on-1 pass rush rep with fellow rookie Cam Jurgens on Sunday and has since viral over the last few days.
— JAKIB Sports (@JAKIBSports) August 8, 2022
While he has had a massive impact on the defense so far and it appears like he can be the missing piece that Philadelphia needed to improve a defensive line that underperformed in 2021. The only question is at what point during the season will the former Georgia Bulldog see an increase in snaps? The interior defensive line is crowded right now as Cox and Hargrave are the expected starters to kick off the season. The likes of Marlon Tuipulotu and Milton Williams are fighting just as hard for playing time, Davis should be able to hold them off.
Philadelphia’s hybrid defense allows for a balanced dose of 4-3 and 3-4 looks to take place in such a talented defense. Although running both defenses may be nothing more than Jonathan Gannon’s way of seeing which look works better, it should give Davis the chance to build up his prowess. This shifting of defensive schemes will allow Davis to be more represented in the rotation and get a good feel for different parts of the defensive line.
As expected, it has appeared as though nose guard will be the primary position that Davis will manage. Davis will be a dominant player, but he will not put up a massive stat line because of where he plays. Some may expect him to be making plays all over the field just because of the fact that he was a first-round pick, but his impact will be as obvious as much. His job will be to clog up the holes in the middle, provide constant pressure to flush the QB out of the pocket, and simply create chaos. Even if his stats are not as impressive as fans will expect, his impact will be felt on every play.
Being a rookie in a solid defensive line room, he will most likely not see an excessive dose of snaps, but he will get his opportunities early. A solid prediction is that Davis will start to see a definite increase in playing time after the bye week. Regardless, his impact has already been felt and the coaches have seen how special he will be. If this happens to be Fletcher Cox’s final season in Philadelphia, Davis will be an excellent replacement in the middle.