Summary: Will Muschamp and his defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson spent only one year in Auburn in between Muschamp's head coaching jobs at Florida and South Carolina, but in that one year, they recruited some excellent defensive talent to the Tigers. One of the best players they landed was Davis, who became a freshman sensation in his one year playing for Muschamp and Robinson. That set the tone for Davis to be one of the best and most consistent cornerbacks in the SEC over the past three seasons.
In his debut season, Davis looked like a veteran, totaling 56 tackles with three interceptions and eight passes broken up. As a sophomore, Davis had a solid season, but wasn't as dynamic in a new defense, recording 46 tackles and 10 breakups for the year. Davis played better as a junior and helped Auburn reach the SEC title game while notching 36 tackles, 11 passes broken up and one interception. After serving as a 3-year starter, Davis decided to skip his senior year to enter the 2018 NFL Draft.
For the NFL, Davis is a big, long, physical corner who fits well as a press-man or zone corner. He has good instincts and is adept at covering up receivers who come into his area. With his height, length and strength, he is skilled at defending big receivers and battling them on contested catches. Davis might be able to do some man coverage on receiving tight ends as well. His build makes him a natural press-man corner, and he has enough quickness and athleticism to turn to run with receivers down the field. Davis is a good weapon to defend fade passes in the red zone and also is a willing tackler in the ground game. While he profiles as a press-man corner and could use some coaching there, a lot of his best plays came when he was in zone coverage.
Davis has enough speed to play corner and not move to safety, but he struggles with deep speed. The super-fast receivers who stretch the field vertically would present a mismatch problem for Davis because he lacks the speed to run with them. Davis also is not a twitchy athlete and has less than ideal movement skills. Thus, he should not be called on to play a lot of off-man coverage.
In the 2018 NFL Draft, Davis could be a late first-round or second-round pick. He could end up being a No. 1 corner for his pro team, and it isn't out of the question that he plays in some Pro Bowls during his career.
Player Comparison: Byron Maxwell. Team sources have compared Davis to Maxwell, which makes a ton of sense. The big press-man corner Maxwell (6-1, 198) is almost identical in size to Davis. Both are physical corners who fight receivers and have the ability to play press man. They also have speed limitations and can struggle with receivers downfield. In the NFL, I see Davis being a corner similar to Maxwell.
NFL Matches: Oakland, San Francisco, Green Bay, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle, Dallas, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Atlanta, New Orleans, Minnesota, New England, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay
There are a lot of teams that could be a fit for Davis in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Seattle cut Richard Sherman and will need more corner talent for its defense. Davis would be a target if the Seahawks were able to trade down. Dallas could use more cornerback talent, and Davis might make more sense for the Cowboys in the second round.
In the 20s, there are a lot of options for Davis. Buffalo could consider Davis with its second first-round pick as it has to find a replacement for Ronald Darby. The Vikings have to consider a replacement for Terrance Newman, while the Bengals could use a replacement for Adam Jones. Davis could interest both Minnesota and Cincinnati. Atlanta could use a cornerback to replace Jalen Collins. The Saints have bigger needs, but they also might consider a corner if he's the best player available, plus that would give them a partner to go with Marshon Lattimore.
The Patriots could consider taking Davis with one of their first-round picks or their high second-round pick. Malcolm Butler left in free agency, while Stephon Gilmore was disappointing in his first year in Foxborough. Davis' cover skills could make him a fit for New England. Philadelphia may not sign Darby to a long-term extension, and Davis could be selected as a future replacement.
If Davis were to slip to the second round, there are a lot of potential fits. The Browns have to upgrade their cornerback talent, and Davis would make a lot of sense for one of their second-round picks. Tampa Bay could use more young cornerback talent to go with Vernon Hargreaves, and Davis would make sense for the Bucs in the second round. The Colts need a young corner to go with Quincy Wilson and replace Vontae Davis.
Davis could fit the Bay Area teams in Round 2. Oakland has a huge need at cornerback, and Davis could form a tough tandem with Gareon Conley. San Francisco is going with the old Seahawks' style defense and using big press-man corners. Davis could give them a trio with Richard Sherman and Akhello Witherspoon.
Green Bay has used a lot of picks on cornerbacks, but it remains a position to potentially address for the Packers. Davis could get consideration as a cover corner for Green Bay. In Los Angeles, the Chargers could use a cornerback to go with Casey Hayward. Jason Verrett is nearing the end of his contract and has had durability issues. Davis could fit the Chargers in the second round.