Iowa's Carl Davis slips to Ravens in NFL Draft's third round

Chad Leistikow
Iowa’s Carl Davis celebrates a win last season over Ball State after recovering a late fumble. He started his final two season with the Hawkeyes.

Carl Davis waited until the third round before his name was called at the NFL Draft. The Baltimore Ravens hope with the 90th pick they scooped up a steal in the Iowa defensive tackle who flashed first-round potential.

Davis, 23, shot up some draft boards at the Jan. 24 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., where the 6-foot-5, 320-pound Detroit native put on a dominating show.

NFL Network's Mike Mayock said Davis might have elevated himself into a first-round conversation that day. Although Davis slipped to Friday's Round 3, his potential was undeniable.

But inconsistent play during his Iowa career might have caused him to slip.

Greg Gabriel, the former college scouting director of the Chicago Bears who now works for the National Football Post, said of Davis: "You saw what he could do at the Senior Bowl. But for some reason, he didn't play like that when he was at Iowa. The intensity that he showed at the Senior Bowl, he didn't show in the Iowa tape."

During Friday night's broadcast, Mayock concurred with Gabriel and called Davis "a value pick."

"My theory (on the game-tape discrepancy) is when he's one-on-one with a tackle or a guard and all he's got to do is beat that guy in a one-on-one situation, his physical traits win," Mayock said. "But when it's 11-on-11, he's still got a little bit of a way to go as far as learning how to play that game.

"But he has dominating height, weight, speed, physical traits."

This is the second straight year a Hawkeye defensive player was chosen in the third round. Linebacker Christian Kirksey went 71st overall to the Cleveland Browns last season and signed a four-year, $3.04 million contract.

Kirksey made an instant impact, starting eight games and recording 81 tackles in his rookie year.

Davis' Hawkeye career was more run-clogging and block-occupying than stat-sheet filling. He recorded 14-1/2 tackles for loss in 43 career games at Iowa. The physical prowess of Davis was tantalizing to scouts, whose primary concern has been whether Davis could become a consistent every-down player.

Many draft projections had Davis going in the second round.

Davis seems ready to prove the doubters wrong.

"I've got all the talent. I know I can dominate the line of scrimmage," Davis told before the draft. "Now, it's just doing it on a regular basis. And that's how you get known in this league as a top player. That's how these guys get big contracts."


The highest-drafted defensive players under Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, ranked by overall pick:

17th — LB Chad Greenway (2006, first round, Minnesota)

20th — DE Adrian Clayborn (2011, first round, Tampa Bay)

44th — SS Bob Sanders (2004, second round, Indianapolis)

46th — DE Matt Roth (2006, second round, Miami)

59th — DE Jonathan Babineaux (2006, second round, Atlanta)

63rd — LB Pat Angerer (2010, second round, Indianapolis)

66th — DB Bradley Fletcher (2009, third round, St. Louis)

66th — DB Amari Spievey (2010, third round, Detroit)

67th — FS Charles Godfrey (2008, third round, Carolina)

67th — LB Abdul Hodge (2006, third round, Green Bay)

71st — LB Christian Kirksey (2014, third round, Cleveland)

90th — Carl Davis (2015, third round, Baltimore)