Better Know A Draft Prospect: Illinois Cornerback Vontae Davis




Could be the best all around cornerback in the draft. Has good speed, size, strength, and he plays physical. Is good in man, and has the recovery speed to make up for it when he gets beat. Has nice ball skills, but is more of a shutdown corner, so teams would rarely throw to his side of the field. Likes to put the hit on somebody, and is willing in run support. Played in a cover two scheme in college, but could be more suited in more of a man coverage scheme. Is also the brother of San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis, so he has some NFL pedigree.

While being blessed with great physical attributes, Vontae Davis is known as hard to coach, and can lack heart at times. Was benched at one point in his junior year for his attitude. Thinks he has already arrived.

Vontae Davis By The Numbers


  • Height: 5'11"
  • Weight: 203
  • 40 Yard Dash: 4.49
  • Bench Press: 25 reps
  • 3 Cone: 6.75
  • 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.07


Video Killed The Scouting Report

CB Vontae Davis Highlights Illinois 2008 (via DraftParty)


Scouting Report Strengths

Mocking The Draft:Davis is the perfect combination of size and speed for a cornerback. He possesses the speed to stick with the fastest receivers and the size to matchup with the biggest. Unlike most cornerbacks, Davis likes to make a hit and is a sound tackler. Very good ball skills, even though teams rarely threw at him in 2008. Has the size to play at safety if needed.

New Era Scouting:Davis has the physical makeup of the ideal cornerback in today’s NFL. He has the speed and athleticism to blanket a receiver downfield or underneath and the strength/size combination to play a power game at the point of attack. His raw ability alone could have gotten him drafted in the first round in 2007 and he shows flashes of being a heady cover man that reads plays before they develop. Once he locates the football while in coverage, he does an outstanding job of getting his hand on it and tipping it away. Has the reach around deflection maneuver without getting flagged down to a science, looks very natural doing it. Reads things in front of him very well and closes with a burst that few can match in this class. Plays the run with aggression and flies into the box to make the tackle. A devout weight room warrior that takes very good care of his body and is obviously serious about his career.

Scouting Report Weaknesses

Mocking The Draft:Has a questionable work ethic and attitude. Benched at one point during his junior year. Played in a cover-2 scheme that doesn't fit his strengths. Against the pass, was much better as a sophomore. Will sometimes play too aggressively by taking unnecessary chances on the ball. Needs to improve his technique some, particularly flipping his hips and running with receivers. 

New Era Scouting:Is not a smooth mover as he drops down into his backpedal. Plays too upright and seems unsure of himself when moving laterally in zone coverage. Can be easily juked and turned by a smart receiver that runs sharp double routes. Guesses wrong too often when dropping back and will get beat deep. Motor runs hot and cold, has been found to be outright lazy on the field for extended periods of time. Tackling technique needs a lot of work, as he is making contact with the ball carrier’s numbers too often instead of the belt and below, leads to a lot of missed tackles. Has trouble locating the ball when chasing a receiver downfield.

Why Vontae Davis Should Be A Jaguar

Could be the perfect complement to Rasean Mathis, and could improve the secondary immediately. Is known as a shut down type corner, who has ball skills that allow him to intercept errant passes. Brian Williams could move back to strong safety, and our once weak secondary could be a force to be reckoned with. Is projected to be a mid to late first round pick; so the Jags would have to trade back maybe past 15 to consider Vontae.

If Vontae Davis is drafted, he will need some more work in understanding zone coverage schemes, especially if we are heading back to our original cover two scheme. Also will need to be monitored on a character level as well. Almost needs to be sat down and given a reality check, that he has potential to be a great corner, but needs to keep his effort up. With proper coaching, Davis could really become the missing piece in the Jaguars secondary.



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