By Greg Ostendorf
AUBURN, Ala. – While Auburn might have a record number of players drafted (since the NFL draft went to seven rounds) this year, no player is a lock for the first round.
However, cornerback Carlton Davis might make the strongest case.
“I think he’s going to go in the top 40 just because of the position, and it wouldn’t shock me if at the end of the day, a press corner team snuck him in to the bottom of the first round,” NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said Wednesday. “That wouldn’t totally shock me.”
Admittedly, Jeremiah has some concerns with Davis’ transition movement, saying he’s “a little leggy,” but at 6-foot-1, 203 pounds, Davis is considered one of the better press corners in the draft. This past season, he was named first-team All-SEC by the coaches after finishing with 36 tackles, one interception and a team-high 11 passes broken up.
According to Pro Football Focus, Davis allowed just 26 receptions on 54 targets this past season, setting a new personal best in catch-rate allowed into his coverage (48.1 percent).
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 3, 2018
“You watch him against Georgia in their first meeting, and you can see him press wide receivers straight out of bounds,” Jeremiah said. “He did it on multiple occasions. So he’s physical up there in press. He can run. I thought he played a little bit faster than he timed. I think he ran in the low 4.5s, and I think he played a little faster than that.”
Fellow NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks doesn’t believe Davis will sneak into the first round, but he says there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the former Auburn defensive back in the weeks leading up to the draft.
“I know there are a lot of defensive back coaches that are high on him,” Brooks said. “Obviously, they love his size, his toughness, his grit, the way he plays the position on the island. So anytime you can find bigger corners that can move in transition and give you the toughness and tackling that you see from him on the edge, you like that.
“For me, I like just the competitive nature that he displays on the field. I think somewhere in the top 50, he hears his name called.”
Greg Ostendorf is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @greg_ostendorf