The Baltimore Ravens selected defensive tackle Carl Davis in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He impressed the coaches from the moment he arrived at the Under Armour Facility in Owings Mills.
Being selected in the third round was something that Davis planned to use as motivation throughout the 2015 season. He felt that he was worthy of being a first round pick.
The most important thing for a prospect is not what round you are selected in, but which team selects you and in Davis’ case, he found the ideal landing spot for a young defensive lineman. Davis was able to learn from veteran players such as Chris Canty. He also had Brandon Williams helping him make the transition from the University of Iowa to the NFL.
Davis admitted that the NFL season is a much more lengthy process than college football. He had a lot of training in preparation for various stops in the evaluation process leading up to the NFL Draft.
“My rookie year was like playing two seasons coming from college,” Davis said. “It was a long process, the training for the Senior Bowl, the Combine and everything. Then it went into mini-camps and OTAs and all of that stuff.”
Davis says that he was able to keep track of things such as which team he had to play next and which players stood out when he was in college. However, the rookie had to learn to take things day-by-day and week-by-week in the NFL. Once week eight rolled around, Davis said he stopped keeping track and just prepared for whichever team was his opponent that week.
As the season went on, Davis learned how to be a better pro. He paid the utmost attention in meetings, which he feels helped him become a smarter player. Davis worked on taking things that he learned about a player after playing them the first time to their second encounter.
“I learned from when I saw a guy the first time.” Davis said. “The Bengals, I learned from the first time we played Cincinnati to the last time, I feel like I got better as an NFL player.”
Davis plans to work on getting better mentally, as a football player. He is going to take some time to focus on himself during the off-season and prepare to come back a better all-around football player.
Physicality is a big part of Davis’ game. He plays in the trenches and is able to penetrate the offensive backfield. The physical side of Davis also allows him to stand his ground, and not be moved when offensive players try to run the football inside. Davis is fully aware of his strengths but he wants to be better next year.
“I was a physical player. I got my hands on guys and was able to engage then disengage. I showed some pass rushing ability,” Davis said. “My whole thing moving forward is to do it on a consistent basis and also do better at everything.”
The grueling process that NFL players endure is definitely not lost on Davis. He knows that it took a lot of hard work to get to the NFL and it will take even more work to maintain his status as an NFL player.
“I want to get bigger and stronger as a defensive linemen. I need to build my body up to last a whole season,” Davis said. “My goal is to get in the best shape possible, and become an even smarter defensive lineman. I want to come back here and be ready to win some games.”