The Jacksonville Jaguars acknowledged their need for an upgrade in their pass rush in a big way when they drafted Dante Fowler Jr. out of Florida with the third overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. Fowler’s rookie season has unfortunately come to an end before it has even started, leaving the Jaguars once again looking for a consistent edge rushing presence.
We’ve talked a bit about how the Jaguars will respond to Fowler’s absence on the field, and one suggestion was giving Ryan Davis more playing time. Doug Farrar over at SI.com recently put together a post on the best pass rushers from multiple gaps, and Ryan Davis was one of his featured players:
"Ryan Davis, Jaguars(Inside PRP: 9.5/Outside PRP: 11.1)Davis is the least-known player on this list outside of the greater Jacksonville area, but his ascent is representative of the ways in which the Jags have been assembling talent under the radar. An undrafted free agent out of Bethune-Cookman who first saw NFL snaps in 2012, Davis ramped up his performance pretty seriously in his third NFL season. He’s never started a game, but amassed 6.5 sacks, five quarterback hits and 13 quarterback hurries in just 310 snaps in 2014. Moreover, as indicated by his Inside PRP of 9.5 and Outside PRP of 11.1 (both top-10 NFL numbers), Davis can blow up a quarterback’s intentions from different places on the line."
Farrar goes on to break down Davis’ 4 sacks against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 1 and the Miami Dolphins in week 8. It’s a great breakdown, and it shows how effective Davis can be from pretty much any spot along the defensive line. What I found eye-opening was how well Davis graded out as an outside pass rusher. I’ve become accustomed to thinking of Davis as basically an interior pass rusher, but he might be someone who can rush the edge more often to help ease the pain of losing Fowler for the year.
Hopefully Davis sees his snap count go up considerably in 2015; he’s certainly earned it.
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