Davis shares what he learned about himself in NFL debut


You wouldn’t think Jordan Davis would need a confidence boost.

After all, he’s a 6-foot-6, 336-pound first-round pick who was an All-American and named the 2021 Chuck Bednarik Award winner as the best defensive player in college football.

But even Davis deals with self-confidence issues.

“I think it’s more of an imposter syndrome, like you’re not supposed to be there,” Davis explained to NBC Sports Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon. “But you really are there for a reason.

“Your mind is your greatest ally and your greatest enemy sometimes. At the end of the day, you have to tell yourself, ‘I’m here for a reason.’”

It’s strange to think about someone like Davis going through these issues, but it’s a very relatable feeling for plenty of folks who don’t have to deal with it in such a public profession.

Davis is a 22-year-old kid who had a ton of pressure on him even before he became a first-round pick. He was understandably nervous before his NFL debut last Sunday in Detroit. But Davis played 22 snaps and played well enough that fans have been clamoring for more.

When asked what he learned about himself in his debut, Davis said, “I’m ready.”

That game was a confidence booster for him.

Davis said he’s been dealing with these issues since before he got to Georgia but he was tested early in Athens. Despite being an important part of the Bulldogs' rotation as a freshman, Davis said he was “beat up by self-confidence” problems during the 2018 season.

While in college, Davis began to meet with a therapist to go over these issues. He also talks to family members and close friends — the people who care about him most in life.

“College is when I started taking charge of mental health,” Davis said. “It’s a huge deal.”

Now that he’s in the NFL and pressure is mounting even more, Davis still speaks with a therapist. The stigma of therapy sessions league-wide has largely evaporated and that’s especially true in the Eagles’ locker room, where some notable mental health issues have taken center stage in recent seasons.

Davis takes his mental health seriously. That’s why he talks to a professional and it’s why he’ll sometimes take breaks from social media in an attempt to surround himself with positivity.

Davis constantly reminds himself: You’re built for this.

“I mean, I’m still struggling with it today,” Davis said. “But I got a great group of guys that help me through it. I’m not the first one, I’m not the only one, I’m not going to be the last one. Just knowing that keeps me prepared. I know that I’m here for a reason and I just have to play up to that level."

While he does overthink, Davis is at least cognizant of that. And despite his draft status, he wants to play with a chip on his shoulder. Davis said he tries to play like he has something to prove.

A lot of the time, he has to prove it to himself first.

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