Davon Godchaux Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Quick to shoot his gap
Good get off
Ability to fire by blocks
Quick interior defender
Speed to close
Athletic for his size
Carries weight well
Has enough length to get 3-4 defensive end consideration
Ready to contribute immediately
Run defense was improved in 2016 but still ways to go
Struggles playing 2-gap
Poor lateral anchor
Poor block ID
Disappears for stretches
Summary: Over recent years, LSU has been called "DB U" at times for the amount of defensive tracks the program has produced for the NFL. While the Tigers certainly have been a factory for cornerbacks and safeties, they have also yielded a lot of fast and athletic defensive linemen. Godchaux will continue that lattermost tradition in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Godchaux was very disruptive for LSU in 2015. He totaled 41 tackles with nine for a loss, six sacks and a pass broken up on the year. Godchaux improved his run defense in 2016 and continued to be solid in the pass rush. The junior totaled 62 tackles with 6.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss on the season. Godchaux has some speed at the point of attack and can be disruptive, but he needs to be more consistent.
The NFL is looking for players who have interior pass-rushing skills, and that could be the best part of Godchaux's game. He has a quick first-step off the ball and has the speed to shoot his gap. Godchaux can fire up the field and can close on the quarterback. LSU ran a lot of stunts, and Godchaux was effective at looping around and getting to the quarterback. Godchaux is at his best working up field and causing disruption in the backfield in either the pass rush or run defense. As a pass-rusher, he is more of a disruptor who creates pressures rather than a lineman who finishes the play and makes sacks.
Against the run, Godchaux could work on holding his ground against downhill runs and also getting off blocks. He could stand to get his hands more active in the ground game and pass rush. The junior also will have to watch his pad level and avoid standing up too high.
Godchaux's best fit in the NFL would likely be as a three-technique defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense. He can use his speed to fire the gap and get disruption in the backfield. In a 3-4 set, Godchaux would fit better as a five-technique defensive end rather than at the nose tackle spot LSU played him in. He has enough size and length to play five-technique. However, he might need more development at holding his ground and rushing against tackles.
Player Comparison: Bennie Logan. Logan turned out to be a steal for the Eagles from the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Logan (6-2, 315) is a good athlete who is fast and quick, and Godchaux has similar characteristics. In the NFL, I think Godchaux could be similar to Logan, provided Godchaux pans out.
NFL Matches: Cleveland, San Francisco, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver, New York Giants, Oakland, Seattle, Dallas and Atlanta
In the mid-rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft, there are a lot of potential landing sports for Godchaux. The Browns have a plethora of picks and could use a three-technique tackle for their 4-3 defense. The 49ers also could use that kind of interior defender to help upgrade their weak defense. They are switching to a 4-3 scheme and need a speedy three-technique. Godchaux could fit them for that.
The Chargers are switching to a 4-3 defense, too, and they could consider adding another defensive tackle, especially if they are considering exercising their out clause in Corey Liuget's contract after next season. Meanwhile, the Giants lost Johnathan Hankins, while Denver could consider Godchaux to be a true replacement for Malik Jackson.
The Raiders and Seahawks both need interior pass-rushers and disruptors. Godchaux would be a good fit for either team. Dallas lost Terrell McClain in free agency, and Godchaux would make sense as a three-technique for Rod Marinelli. The Falcons also could consider an interior pass-rusher and an understudy to Jonathan Babineaux.