Ryan Davis, Aaron Colvin among best prospects in the NFL


The Jacksonville Jaguars are the youngest team in the NFL, a deliberate move made by general manager David Caldwell when he took over the franchise in 2013. The team has continuously added young talent to the roster with the hope of all the players developing and growing together into an effective unit.

Football Outsiders recently put together their list of the top 25 “prospects” in the NFL. In this context, “prospects” means mid-to-late round draft picks and undrafted free agents. Caldwell has excelled at finding contributors throughout the draft, so it’s not surprising to see two Jaguars make the list.

"7. Ryan Davis, DE, Jacksonville JaguarsLast season saw a number of undrafted veterans suddenly explode with big sack numbers, but there’s a big difference with Davis. While Jacquies Smith and George Johnson of Tampa Bay had bounced around multiple organizations, Davis has been developed solely by the Jaguars since they brought him up I-95 from Bethune-Cookman in 2012. Gus Bradley used Davis in a number of ways: as a traditional end, a standing “Leo” end and a pass-rushing defensive tackle. The Jaguars built their high sack count (45) last year with coverage sacks and blitzes, but that’s not where Davis got his sacks. Six of Davis’ 6.5 sacks were marked as blown blocks, and four of those six came with a standard four pass-rushers. Davis also was second on the Jaguars with 11.5 hurries and six quarterback hits.19. Aaron Colvin, CB, Jacksonville JaguarsA torn ACL at the 2014 Senior Bowl dropped Aaron Colvin down to the Jaguars in the fourth round, but it actually didn’t cause him to miss his entire rookie season. Colvin was activated in Week 12 and played at least 50 percent of the snaps in each of Jacksonville’s last six games. He had unimpressive charting metrics, but it still takes time for players to recover and get their full speed back after returning from ACL surgery. Colvin (5-foot-11, 177 pounds) doesn’t quite have the size associated with the Seahawks/Jaguars defensive scheme, but Jacksonville’s coaching staff loves his instincts, work ethic and physical play in zone coverage."

Davis is technically a holdover from the old regime, but he didn’t really get a chance to play until head coach Gus Bradley got his hands on him. Since 2013, Davis has been the team’s best pure pass rusher and most versatile defensive lineman. He’s going to need to produce even more in 2015 to make up for the loss of Dante Fowler Jr.

Aaron Colvin is one of the most exciting young players on the defensive side of the ball, and early reviews from camp indicate he’s ready a big year 2. Colvin will likely move around and cover both outside and slot receivers, meaning he should be on the field more often than not.

There are probably a bunch of other players on the Jaguars who could’ve been on the list (Telvin Smith, Brandon Linder), but Davis and Colvin certainly deserve the recognition.

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