The Jets are in the market for an edge pass rusher. This is a fact that is not in dispute, nor has it been for quite some time. A dominant pass rush off the edge might just be what the doctor ordered to turn the Rex Ryan defense from good to great. Now, the question, have the Jets made a move to answer this problem?
As reported by Jake Steinberg of The Jets Blog, the Jets have signed Claude Davis, DE out of USF. Let’s talk about his history a little bit first.
Claude actually began his career at East Mississippi Community College, where as a freshman in 2008, he posted 80 tackles. 15 TFL, 7.5 sacks, posted 3 forced fumbles, recovered 3, and even added 2 INTs and 1 TD. He earned MACJC All-North State Second Team honors that season. He followed that up with a 2009 year of 77 tackles, 13 TFL, 10.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveris, earning him 2009 NJCAA Preseason All-American First Team honors.
He came up to USF in 2010, where after playing mainly on special teams in his first year, came into his own in 2011. He played defensive end and special teams that year, posting 16 tackles, 7 TFL, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery. Claude Davis clearly has talent. Let’s look at some highlights:
He measures in at 6’2″, 234 pounds.
PROS: The first thing that jumps out about this guy is his speed. Look at him get off the line of scrimmage. By the time the blocker has any chance to react to Davis, he is already past their outside shoulder, and the blocker has no chance. His closing speed is terrific, he is going to chase just about anyone down. He also doesn’t miss tackles. When Claude Davis has you in his sights, he doesn’t miss.
CONS: His size is not NFL ready. At 234 pounds, he will be eaten alive by NFL linemen. He is going to need to bulk up if he is going to make it with us, or any other team. What’s also noticeably missing from the tape is pass rushing moves, other than speed. Being small, he is going to have a tough time using any type of power move to get to the quarterback. NFL tackles will get off the ball a lot faster than his college competition. He needs an array of pass rushing moves. You could see on the one running play that tape reel featured, he can’t really force through linemen very well. He also has a limited amount of competition at any level higher than community college. 12 games playing defensive end is not much.
Is there raw talent there? Sure. You cannot watch that tape without noticing that this young man is talented. But he is very small, and it is going to take a lot of work on his part to make this team.