Monday, November 29, 2021

Raekwon Davis – the forgotten Crimson Tide star

It seems nearly every conversation regarding ex Alabama players on the Miami Dolphins roster only includes Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle. This is natural given the importance of the QB position and the weakness at the WR position last year. However, I’m equally as excited to see another ex Crimson Tide player in action for the Dolphins.

3 words to describe Raekwon Davis – Dominant, Physical and imposing, well maybe dominant might be a bit premature. At 6’7 and 312 pounds he’s got the physical tools to become whatever his talents and hard work allow.  At this stage of the season there’s no reason to believe he can’t be dominant by the season’s end. This is the fun part of the season when anything is still possible, within reason.

When the pick came in and the name Raekown Davis was called Brian Flores was visibly very excited, which made me very excited. I trust the process, especially on defence. On this occasion Flores was once again right with Davis being selected to the PWFA All Rookie team. The last 3 Miami Dolphins players (not including the punter Matt Darr) selected to the PWFA All rookie team were Laremy Tunsil, Ja’wan James and Mike Pouncey. All 3 were good players for the Dolphins and there is no reason to believe Davis can’t go on to be at least equally as good or even better than those 3 names. 

RAEKWON DAVIS HAD A GREAT ROOKIE YEAR

PFF graded Davis high enough to make their all rookie team. He finished the year with an overall grade of 71.1 and was the highest graded rookie IDL against the run. PFF grades are of course subjective but positive attention nonetheless and more glowing reports. The PFF article points out Raekwon Davis’ inexperience playing over the nose, which was his primary position for the Dolphins last year. This shows that he still has plenty of potential to reach. He’s still quite inexperienced at the position but still made the all rookie teams mentioned above. That’s quite impressive in its own right.

When he’s being recognised and rated so highly by a range of ‘experts’ the expression ‘there’s no smoke without fire’ rings more true. The future is definitely bright for this young player. Raekwon Davis proved he was the best at his position from the 2021 Draft class, he just needs to continue his upward trajectory and have the best career. Which I believe he will.  

The weakness of the defence last year in my opinion was its inability to consistently stop the run and pressure the QB, without sending extra blitzers. If Davis can at least maintain his form and make the second year leap a part of those problems would have been fixed, albeit on 1st and 2nd down mainly. If we can hold teams to more long 3rd downs the more we’ll force the opposition’s punters onto the field. 

Not only can Raekwon Davis be a superb space eater but he can be a people mover and occasionally get pressure onto the QB, as these highlights below prove:

In a defence that runs a lot of 3-4 type fronts it is important it has a good nose tackle who can occupy the offensive linemen for the linebackers to make plays. Davis not only does that and does it well but he can also disrupt plays in his own right. The video below breaks down Raekwon Davis play in detail against the Broncos, showing a number of examples of how he affected play:

His play shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who watched him play for the Crimson Tide. As these highlights are enough to get anyone excited:

Whilst Tua’s impact on the team might be bigger and Waddle might end up making more highlight reel plays, Raekwon Davis can have an equal impact on the defence. He can be an excellent player in his own right.

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