Rookie 1st-round pick lands on list of most important Eagles


Over the next few weeks leading up to training camp, we’ll be counting down the top 25 most important Eagles for the 2022 season.

25. Quez Watkins
24. Gardner Minshew
23. T.J. Edwards
22. Marcus Epps
21. Landon Dickerson
20. Jake Elliott
19. Brandon Graham
18. Jordan Davis

There are plenty who might argue that trading up and using the 13th overall pick for a run-stuffing nose tackle isn’t a wise way to allocate resources. But the Eagles think Jordan Davis is much more than that.

“He's a big, explosive, violent man that can win one-on-one, so yes, he will definitely have a role in the passing game, and he will affect the quarterback in a good way,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said this spring. “Excited about his skill set and what he can do in the run and pass game.”

The floor for Davis in the NFL is as an elite run-stuffing defensive lineman. But because of his insane athletic profile, the Eagles truly believe Davis offers a ton of pass-rush upside. And he gets a soft landing spot with the Eagles, who still have Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave and Milton Williams in their defensive tackle rotation.

Davis, 22, was one of the best players on the best defensive in college football in 2021. He won the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Outland Trophy as a senior and then solidified his place as a pre-draft unicorn with his performance at the combine.

At the combine, Davis ran a 4.78 in the 40-yard dash and he did it while weighing 341 pounds. Dating back to 2000, Davis had the fastest 40 time for any player over 315 pounds.

A big key for Davis in his rookie season will be his weight and fitness level. At rookie camp, Davis said he was 345 pounds but wanted to get down to the 330s. This is a job for Davis now and he seems to appreciate that. This is important to watch because Davis played just 25 snaps per game at Georgia as a senior.

If he plays 25 snaps per game in a 17-game NFL season that would put him at around 38% of the Eagles’ projected defensive snaps. But if Davis can stay in shape, the Eagles can bump that up and make him a more significant part of their rotation. They see him as more than a run-down defender and Davis clearly has the athleticism to do some special things.

If Davis wasn’t joining a rotation that already includes two Pro Bowlers, he’d likely be higher on this list. And my best guess is that when we do this again in 2023, Davis will move up considerably.

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