Last month, this writer was fortunate to discuss a few prospects of interest in this year’s NFL Draft with an anonymous player personnel assistant. With the Combine in the rear-view mirror, round two of prospect conversations commenced this past week.
A few players of note have caught this evaluator’s eye, especially at the wide receiver position. But how does that person feel about Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis, the Combine’s viral performer? And is there another early Day-Three inside linebacker that the Packers could target once again?
Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
6’6, 341 pounds
2021: 14 games; 32 total tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks
I think Jordan Davis is going to dominate his position for 10-plus years. I think if you pick him, he will be a starter at the nose and that is great. He’ll dominate that spot, no doubt. You will play him 40 snaps a game at most because this league throws the ball so much and you’re going to end up using a top-20 pick on a guy who plays less than 25% of the snaps in a game. He might dominate for those 40 snaps, but you could get the value of a top wide receiver at that position [of the draft].
What he does is not worthy, in my mind, of that first-round pick money. If you used that money in free agency, could you get a slightly less dominant version of Jordan Davis in a Linval Joseph or a Sheldon Richardson? I have a hard time justifying a player that has very little ability to put pressure on the pocket up the middle. I think he can rush the passer, but I don’t think he’s great at it. I think he’d be lucky to get five sacks in a year. When you’re playing a team that can’t throw the ball, he’s going to play a lot more snaps and he’s going to get tired and his motor is going to run cold. Now, he can run. He can get sideline to sideline - but not like Aaron Donald can.
I think he’s an incredible player, but I’m realistic about where his slot value is because he’s got limited snaps he’s going to play in a game. He’s great at what he does, but I don’t value what he does that high for that price point. He probably tops out around pick 16 where the [Los Angeles] Chargers pick and, honestly, they got pushed around last year. They’re the team where his particular skillset is needed the most at where his highest projected value also correlates. I could see him going at 16, but I don’t think he should.
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
6’2, 225 pounds
2021 Stats: 66 catches for 1,104 yards (16.7 average), 11 receiving touchdowns; 14 rushes for 112 yards (8.0 average), 1 rushing touchdown
It’s very difficult, when you’re in [the SEC], to dominate when everybody on the other sideline knows you’re the best player and it’s not close. Every team he played knew he was the best player and they had to stop him - and he still put up great numbers. That is a great conference to do that in [when you are evaluating]. He’s faster than people think he is and he separates. He’s heavy, he’s big-bodied, he makes contested catches consistently. I really, really like Burks. When he’s physical, he’s not quite like Deebo Samuel-physical, but he’s more dynamic of a deep threat than Deebo is. He’s kind of like how Dez Bryant was.
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
6’1, 179 pounds
2021 Stats: 15 games; 79 catches for 1,572 yards (19.9 average), 15 receiving touchdowns; 3 rushes for 23 yards (7.7 average)
I love him. He’s an incredibly dynamic return man so he has a ton of value in special teams. He’s freakishly fast and accelerates incredibly well. He changes direction at top speed and doesn’t lose speed. I think that cost him against Georgia when he tore his ACL. When Jameson Williams is on the field, everybody knows where he is. He has the type of Tyreek Hill speed that you have to play your defense to accommodate for him, even if the ball might not go to him. His value isn’t just for a guy that catches the ball and can return kicks, it’s the fact that the defense is going to have to adjust what it does formation-wise to defend him on plays he doesn’t get the ball. That opens other things up.
Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
6’3, 239 pounds
2021 Stats: 13 games; 142 total tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 1.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 2 touchdowns
He comes from Wyoming, just like Cincinnati’s Logan Wilson did, who had an excellent Super Bowl. I don’t think he lasts until Day Three. He’s super instinctual and knows how to play the pass. Tackles well. Plays in space. It’s ironic he comes from Wyoming because he and Wilson are very similar type players. I think he’s going to be a good player for a long time and probably gets drafted on the second day.