Nate Davis has struggled to stay on the field, but when he’s playing, he’s one of the better offensive linemen in the draft class. Appearing in eight games at right tackle, Davis finished his season by earning Second-Team All-Conference honors. He received this honor despite having never previously played right tackle and receiving a four-game undisclosed suspension.
Davis initially arrived at Charlotte after receiving First-Team All-Virginia honors out of high school. The offensive lineman missed the entirety of his first season due to academic ineligibility but returned to the field in 2015. During his freshman season, the Virginia native started the final 10 games of the season at right guard.
Davis continued to hold onto the right guard job and established himself as one of the better young talents in college football. During the 2016 season, Davis earned an honorable mention to the All-Conference for his play at guard. He almost certainly would have made first or second-team honors had injuries not limited him to nine games played. Davis played a full season for the first time in his career in 2017, once again earning an All-Conference honorable mention for his work at right guard.
was effective in a variety of blocking schemes; light on his feet and able to mirror quicker defensive linemen; projects as a guard but can play tackle in a pinch; strong ability to open lanes as a lead blocker; could probably learn center if relegated to a backup role.
most measurables are below NFL standards; needs to add strength at the next level; unknown NCAA violation is cause for concern; only started in a full season one time; short arms make it hard for him to engage defenders; struggles against bull rushers;
NFL Comparison: Joe Looney
Teams With Need at Position: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Projection: Third or fourth round
Despite spending 2018 at right tackle, Nate Davis will probably be a guard at the NFL level. He doesn’t have the size or strength to line up against edge defenders, but his underwhelming numbers won’t be as big of a deal on the interior. Davis played in a variety of blocking schemes in college, so his skill set should translate to the NFL regardless of scheme. His quick feet allow him to mirror quicker defenders and be a strong pull guard. Additionally, his versatility and ability to play tackle if necessary should only add to his NFL value.
There are reservations that come with selecting Davis. The Virginia native doesn’t have ideal size or strength for the NFL, and he’ll need to add on some muscle if he is to survive in the pros. His lack of muscle showed up repeatedly in college when facing bull rushers. If he allowed first contact, he didn’t have the strength to hold his ground. Because of his short arms, he’ll likely allow first contact more than one would prefer. Additionally, he’s only played a full season one occasion, so availability is a concern.
Davis will probably spend the majority of his career as a high-end backup capable of filling in all across the offensive line. While injuries could force him to start in certain situations, he’ll never be anyone’s Plan A along the offensive line. There are roles for players like this, but he’s ultimately a top-level backup with the versatility to provide depth along the entire offensive line.