As we continue to roll along in our post-draft Q&A series, we turn to tight end Tyler Davis, Jacksonville’s second selection of the sixth round (No. 206 overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft, out of Georgia Tech.
Davis has a shot to make the roster in a tight end group that has potential, but lacks any superstars, with Tyler Eifert, Josh Oliver, James O’Shaughnessy, Charles Jones and undrafted free agent signing Ben Ellefson. Jacksonville is looking to revamp the tight end position, as this is a spot that has not had a lot of production over the past couple of seasons. With Jay Gruden now running the offense, we can probably the expect the tight ends to be more involved.
1. Davis came to Georgia Tech as a grad transfer from UCONN (where he actually started his career as a quarterback), what kind of impact did Davis make on the field for a Georgia Tech team that wasn’t used to featuring tight ends in the offense in the past?
Benjamin: One of the biggest transitions from (former head coach) Paul Johnson to (current head coach) Geoff Collins was along the offensive line. Under Johnson, Tech’s offensive line required smaller, quicker offensive line who spent the majority of their time drive or cut blocking. Moving toward a pro-style offense under Collins, that offensive line had to adapt to a more traditional blocking scheme, which was...rough, to say the least. To get some extra help, Tyler Davis was primarily used as an extra blocker, so I’m not sure I would say that Tech really featured a tight end this year.
2. Despite only playing for the Yellow Jackets for one year, Davis was voted as a team captain. The Jaguars put an emphasis on high-character guys in the draft. What leadership and character traits does Johnson possess that his teammates and coaches will admire?
Benjamin: One thing that I really like about the state of the (Georgia Tech) team right now is that there are a lot of high-character players on the roster. Both Paul Johnson and now Geoff Collins have made that a high priority, and Davis is no different. Tech rotated captains throughout the season, but Davis was voted as one of the season-long captains, which are voted on by the team, which I think is a testament to his leadership abilities in such a short time.
3. Davis was not invited to the NFL Combine, but was lucky to get in a pro day before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down. He impressed there with a 4.65 40-yard dash, 23 bench press reps and a 9-foot-5-inch broad jump. Do you suspect this performance is what got him drafted, why or why not?
Benjamin: I certainly don’t think his stats were specifically what got him drafted. Statistically speaking, Davis didn’t have a very good season. He averaged around eight yards per catch and only had a single touchdown. Like I mentioned earlier, Davis was used more as an additional blocker, so his numbers weren’t the best. I think it was a combination of his pro day show case and also his time at UConn that really contributed to him getting drafted.
4. With good size, speed and strength, is Davis’ game built on more as a blocking tight end, or as a receiving threat, or both? What does Davis need to work on to have success at the NFL level?
Benjamin: We didn’t get to see much of him as a receiver, though from what we did see, the thing he needs to work on most is hit timidness to catch the ball. There were a lot of times it seemed like he was almost scared to go out and catch it if it meant getting hit, and that’s not really a good trait for a tight end.
5. Do you expect Davis to make Jacksonville’s roster, and do you believe he can carve out a solid NFL career? Why or why not?
Benjamin: I don’t know much about Jacksonville’s depth at tight end to really give this a good answer. I think he certainly has the capability to make the team, but he’ll have to prove it on the field. Personally, I didn’t expect Davis to get drafted, so he’s more than exceeded my expectations already. I don’t see what’s stopping him from doing it again.
6. Anything else we should know about Davis?
Benjamin: I would recommend going and watching his UConn film. It’s a lot more exciting to watch than his Tech film. You get to see how he performs as a receiver a lot more.
A big shout out to Benjamin for providing us with his thoughts and analysis on what Davis brings to Duval. For more from Benjamin, follow him on Twitter, and to keep up with Georgia Tech athletics, be sure to check out From The Rumble Seat on Twitter as well.