At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, former Auburn cornerback Carlton Davis has the size. As a first-team All-American and All-SEC athlete last season, he flashed the production. And as NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks sees it, Davis has the "toughness and grit" to be considered a first round talent in the upcoming NFL Draft.
On a media teleconference Wednesday, Brooks revealed that many coaches around the league have fallen in love with the Miami, Florida native's physical style of play, which could allow him to sneak into the first round of players selected April 26 at Cowboys Stadium.
“There’s a lot of buzz on Carlton Davis,” Brooks said. “I know there’s a lot of defensive back coaches that are high on him.”
Often compared to All-Pro corner Richard Sherman for his ability to "crowd and bully wideouts into the boundary," Davis declared for the draft following the completion of his junior season on The Plains. In 38 games over his three years, Davis started in 32, accumulating 138 tackles, four interceptions and three forced fumbles.
NFL.com's Lance Zierlein scouted that given the right defensive scheme, Davis "could become a high-impact starter."
“(Scouts) love his size, his toughness, his grit, the ways he plays the position on the island,” Brooks said. “And so anytime you can find bigger corners that can move in transition and kind of give you the toughness and tackling that you see from him on the edge, you like that.”
Brooks' colleague, analyst Daniel Jeremiah, called Davis "leggy" at times in his ability to keep pace with smaller defenders. However, Jeremiah thinks the corner has potential to fall into the late-first, early-second round range.
“You watch him against Georgia in their first meeting, I mean, you can see him press the wide receiver straight out of bounds,” Jeremiah said. “He did it on multiple occasions, so he is physical up there in press ... I thought he played a little bit faster than he timed ... I think he’s going to go in the top 40 just because of position, and it wouldn’t shock me if at the end of the day, a press corner team snuck him into the bottom of the first round.”
Brooks sees Davis as a later pick, but still admires the defensive back's attitude towards the game.
“I like just the competitive nature that he displays on the field,” Brooks said. “I think he has a chance. I don’t think he sneaks into the bottom of the first round, but I think he is a top of the second, middle of the second round player. I think somewhere in the top 50 he hears his name called.”
Davis is currently rated as the No. 7 and No. 9 corner on Walter Football and Pro Football Focus' draft boards, respectively. CBS Sports' latest mock draft has Davis shipped off to Arizona as the No. 47 overall pick by the Cardinals.