The 2018 NFL draft is creeping closer and closer, with the scouting combine occurring this week in Indianapolis. In the meantime, there are countless prospects to examine and form opinions on. Today I will take a look at cornerback Carlton Davis from Auburn.
NFL.com has Davis listed at 6’1 203 pounds. He has ideal size for an outside corner in the NFL. He has freakish arm length, which allows him to jam receivers at the line and breakup passes easily.
Davis has experience guarding elite level SEC receivers, such as the draft’s top wide receiver, Calvin Ridley from Alabama. He effectively shut down Ridley during the 2017 Iron Bowl, helping Auburn to upset Alabama.
In three seasons with Auburn, Davis recorded 136 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and one recovery, four interceptions, and 28 passes defensed. These are impressive numbers, especially given the level of talent he faced in the SEC.
He is widely projected as a top five cornerback in this year’s draft class, and is predicted to go in the late first-to-second round. Even though the Ravens selected cornerback Marlon Humphrey in the first round of the draft last year, it wouldn’t shock me if they take a corner early again this year.
Davis reminds me a lot of Humphrey. They are both physical, lengthy, press corners who will punch receivers in the mouth at the line of scrimmage. They both struggle with defending the deep ball at times as well. However, this is a weakness that can be corrected, and corners with the measurables of Davis don’t just grow on trees.
Last year, Humphrey was pegged as a late-first to early-second round selection by many experts. He was selected 16th overall, and was the second cornerback off the board, after Marshon Lattimore. The Ravens needed playmakers on offense, but they instead chose to bolster their secondary with a young, talented corner. It looks like the right decision so far, but what if they make the same choice in round one this year? Pairing Davis with Humphrey and Maurice Canady on the outside, with Tavon Young and Jaylen Hill manning the slot, could mean the Ravens would be set for years at the cornerback position.
Brandon Carr could possibly be cut for cap-saving purposes. Jimmy Smith is getting older and is coming back from a torn Achilles too, so there’s no telling if he will be the same dominant player. It’s possible that the Ravens could trade back in the first round, to acquire more picks, and Davis could be a possible selection after doing so. As the Ravens have learned the hard way, you can never have too many good corners in this league.