Film Study: Jesse Davis At Right Tackle
Power and size is the name of Davis’ game
Jesse Davis has been a bright spot for the Miami Dolphins this season. And after a successful start at Right Tackle against the Panther #1 defense, his shine has became a little bit brighter.
Since Preseason, Phinsnews has liked Davis a lot at Guard. But expectations on the quality of his play at tackle weren’t so high (article here). While Davis did suffer at times on Monday from flaws in his hand fighting technique and ability to deal with wide pass-rushing angles, he proved far better than we thought he would. His grade of 74 by PFF, when viewed in context, looks even better.
Davis is dominant in size and strength. Power is the platform his game is built on.
All game long, Davis continually engulfed and overwhelmed everyone not named Julius Peppers… except for one play against Charles Johnson, where he was beat a bit too early. It’s important to remember that both Peppers and Johnson are long time vets and savvy play goes along way in the NFL.
The good news is technique can be improved. While improvement isn’t a guarantee, Davis has proved to be a hard worker, and the fact he can play multiple positions means he’s willing to learn.
Despite the game being his first start at Tackle, and the defense having their ears pulled back in pass rush for half the game, Davis still managed to wall off the right side… but for a handful of snaps.
At the very least, Davis is an excellent depth player
Over the next couple of weeks Davis will need to work on his weakesses because defenses will have tape now. Rushers will certainly test the flaws in his game early and often.
In the video below Davis dominates every edge rusher with power. The last play is the only time Davis can’t overcome his technical flaws with size and strength.
The biggest correct he needs to make is his tendency to let his hand ride too long on the defender. This leaves him open to the ‘grab and pull’. He also was caught leaning into his blocks a few times too many.
Of all the edge rushers, Peppers had the best success against Davis… no duh, right. But Peppers didn’t line up over Davis till the second half, when it was obvious pass downs. This swung the advantage hard towards Peppers’ favor. Let’s also remember Peppers is a Hall of Famer and possesses a very rare size and speed ratio, not to mention tons of experience.
Consistency has been the biggest issue at Right Tackle this season
Davis actually handles Peppers half the time, when the rush angles are less wide. But when Peppers extends the angles, Davis begins to break down. In the last two plays you see that technique is a major factor. Davis’ kick step in the third snap has a deeper angle than the snap that follows, and he has better success against Peppers because of it. In the fourth snap, Davis take to flatter angle in his kick step and is beaten like a drum. This should improve with time as he gains a better understanding of the game.
The run game is where Davis thrives. After going against mammoth DT’s as a Guard, the smaller edge players aren’t much of a problem.
Davis and Jermon Bushrod showed good chemistry and were able to switch and swap defenders with few issues. Although, there were some bumps in the road as seen in the last play.
Given that most of Davis’ poor play came against Peppers, the PFF grade of 74 looks a lot better in that context. Now I’m not anointing him a star or even Ja’Wuan James replacement, but he did pretty good against the #1 defense… so that’s not a bad thing. Yet, if he can be consistent and play at this level for the remainder of the season, then you can say hello to 2018’s starting RT. Worst case scenario in my opinion, Davis will make for a pretty good RG or an excellent swing man… not bad for a cheap Free Agent that nobody wanted. Dolphins win on this one. Go Fins!!!