Stop me if you heard this before: All the Seahawks need to solidfy their defense is to get a pass rusher on the other side of...Yes? Good, good. Looks like we're on track. How about this one? John Schneider and Pete Carroll's regime usually try to build their team through draft picks rather than free agen...What? You already heard that five times? Excellent. You're really picking this up aren't you? Excellent indeed. Now, one more thing:
I bet you had to pause for a moment there, didn't you? Do you remember him? Not really? No? Maybe? It's expected. After all, Dexter Davis was only a 7th round pick last year and had barely made an impact in his both years as a Seahawk.
But there's something about him that just gets you thinking. He's just rolling off the tip of your tongue, like that other, other western movie Clint Eastwood did back in the 1980's (Answer: Pale Rider). You may be intrigued as to why Dexter Davis is worth talking about, let alone if he has the ability to contribute next year. Keep reading, and you'll find out...
Let's begin with our initial thoughts on Mr. Davis, as presented by our own great John Morgan:
Dexter Davis is a highly productive former PAC-10 standout that will compete for a position as a standup end. He had 31 sacks in his 50 game Sun Devil career. What separates Davis from a typical high output-low potential pick is the pro caliber tools he flashed at the NFL Combine. He led all defensive ends in the forty and would have finished top ten among outside linebackers. His biggest weakness is his frame, which looks over-maxed at 244. That makes him a lot like Nick Reed. In fact, Nick Reed, plus a little burst, is a fair comparison. - April 24, 2010
Here's one by Rob Rang:
Tackling: Forceful tackler that can separate the ball from the ball-carrier. Has forced 8 fumbles over his career, most when coming off the edge and exploding into the quarterback. Strong, active hands to rip the ball out. Arrives with a thud and likes to intimidate his opponents. Good hustle in pursuit for the tackle from behind. Better than expected strength to slip off blocks and bring down the ball-carrier with one arm. A bit bulked up and has only marginal overall agility. Struggles a bit in breaking down in space to tackle smaller, more elusive ball-carriers.
Pass Rush/Blitz: His best asset. Explosive burst off the edge as pass rusher with his hand in the ground. Can pressure the tackle's outside shoulder and features a swim and quick spin back to the inside. Good strength and natural use of leverage to rock the tackle back on his heels. Good forceful shove to separate and can close on the passer quickly when he gets a lane. Lacks the flexibility of the great pass rushers to get under the tackle, bend and close.Without a doubt we immediately categorize.
Immediately from those two's info, we can categorize Davis as an above-average pass rusher. He's already gotten quite an unusual skill set for a DE/OLB. For instance, he was 8th among top DL prospects in the 20 yard shuttle and the 3-cone drill, making him one of the quicker, more agile rushers in the league. However, his 6'1, 244 pound frame did him no favors, and even the worst tackles in the league could overcome him with their size. And though he could always go lower than the opposing lineman in plays, unfortunately leverage against blockers is simply not enough in this league.
It didn't help that a mildly surprising start (15 games played, 13 tackles, 1 sack) on special teams in 2010 was overshadowed by his hip injury the following year, shutting him down on IR for the rest of the season. At the same time, the unit's pass rushing skills suffered, and while Chris Clemons did his part with 11 sacks, his apparent Raheem Brock did not.
Originally, we thought that Davis would be used at the LEO position for Pete's defensive scheme, but now I think Pete is going to shift his role from LEO to the one of Brock's: a third down, speedy rusher off the edge that can consistently apply pressure to the QB.
Can Dexter Davis do what Brock could not? I think he can - look out for him next year fellas, because he might be the key to how effective our scheme will be.