Carlton Davis has had a tremendous season as Auburn’s No. 1 cornerback this season. His play may be deserving of a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft, and the Peach Bowl likely will be his last game for the Tigers.
Davis was used in different ways in Kevin Steele’s dominant defense. He was great at bump-and run-coverage when asked to press his opposition off the line of scrimmage. His physicality consistently knocked receivers off their routes and affected the timing of the quarterback.
Against Texas A&M, Davis showed that ability to limit his man off the line of scrimmage.
His ability to press off the line will be extremely valuable as a young NFL player. Many young corners are asked to play as a nickel back, and Davis’ ability to play man coverage underneath will make him a more attractive draft pick.
Davis also lined up off the ball. Even when he gave his receiver space at the start of the play, he constantly limited opposing offenses throughout the season.
He showed a knack for playing the ball while it was in the air. Though there were times he struggled to turn his head, he was as consistent as most of the top corners in college football.
Davis has the ability and physical makeup to outmatch most of his competition, but there were several times throughout the season where he just got beat.
Though he may have been suffering from a concussion during this play, he still lost a step on his assignment. He did not play in the second half in the SEC championship game after a tough first half.
Despite some inconsistencies, NFL draft evaluators should find a lot to like about Davis, and he should be selected early in the 2018 NFL draft.
#Auburn CB Carlton Davis might be my favorite CFB CB to study. NFL size/length, VG feet in his transition, great play speed. He’ll go high.
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) October 4, 2017
He also made plays outside of coverage this season. He helped Auburn against the run, as he once again brought a level of physicality.
Looking at Davis’ tape, he plays similarly to Vontae Davis, a cornerback for the Indianapolis Colts. Carlton Davis’ ability to do several different things from the cornerback position will make him extremely valuable and a potential No. 1 corner during his NFL career.
(You can follow Zac Blackerby on Twitter @Zblackerby)
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