Eagles rookie watch: Here’s what’s being said about Jordan Davis

Jordan Davis #90, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jordan Davis #90, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

In a football-obsessed town like the City of Brotherly Love, there’s never a shortage of storylines when the Philadelphia Eagles take center stage in the discussion. Following their 38-35 triumph over the Detroit Lions in Week 1, had you missed the game and eavesdropped on a debate between two fans, you probably would have assumed Philly wound up on the wrong end of the final score… They didn’t.

They say a win is a win. We can all attest to that statement’s accuracy. We can also agree that if your friends and/or family are worried, arguments can be made that they’re justified in what they’re feeling.

Everyone has asked the same questions three times or more. Jalen Hurts can’t run around like that and expect to stay healthy, right? How is it possible that DeVonta Smith didn’t snag a single catch? Where was the defense? What is Jonathan Gannon thinking? Here’s another of the familiar storylines coming out of Week 1.

How is it possible that Jordan Davis, the 13th-overall selection of the most recent NFL Draft only saw 22 snaps in Week 1? Everyone is confused about that one. Attention has shifted to the Minnesota Vikings and the home-opener in Week 2 on Monday Night Football, but the 24-hour rule doesn’t seem to apply when discussing the man who won the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Outland Trophy while being named a Unanimous All-American and a First-Team All-SEC nod during his final season at the NCAA level.

Jonathan Gannon’s usage (or lack thereof) of Jordan Davis continues to dominate discussions as the Eagles’ home opener nears.

As you’re aware, there are five defensive tackles on the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster. All played in Week 1. Jordan Davis saw the field the least. Here’s a look at the snap counts and the percentage of overall snaps played.

  • Fletcher Cox – 39 (57% of the defense’s total)
  • Javon Hargrave – 38 (55%)
  • Milton Williams – 33 (48%)
  • Marlon Tuipulotu – 29 (42%)
  • Jordan Davis – 22 (32%)

The immediate response, if you hadn’t seen the game, would probably steer towards the following: How does the 13th-overall selection, Jordan Davis, get less playing time than Tuipulotu, a sixth-round selection in 2021? Truthfully, we have no issues with seeing more of Marlon if last week was an indicator of his potential.

Remember, he caused the pressure that led to James Bradberry’s interception off of Jared Goff’s arm. Past him, however, the defensive line didn’t give us much, so there’s some understandable concern seeing as how the Lions were banged up on the offensive line and a better opponent is on the horizon. NBC Sports’ Dave Zangaro doesn’t seem to be a fan of seeing Davis on the sideline as often as we did. Here’s a quote:

"Nick Sirianni said he didn’t see a correlation between the Eagles’ struggles to stop the run on Sunday and the lack of playing time for Jordan Davis. The numbers clearly say otherwise. With Davis on the field, the Lions had 14 rushing plays for 43 yards (3.1) and without him, they had 14 for 138 yards (9.9)Even when you factor in the fact that two of those 14 rushes with Davis on the field were one-yard touchdowns — which helps the average without being winning plays — it’s still safe to say there was a clear correlation between Davis’s playing time and the Eagles’ success or failure in rush defense."

His fellow NBC Sports Eagles Insider, Reuben Frank, agrees.

"Jordan Davis has to play more snaps. He can’t play almost half as many as Fletcher Cox and fewer than Marlon Tuipulotu. You don’t draft a guy 14th overall who’s the best run defender in college football and have him play fewer snaps than a second-year 6th-round pick who barely made the roster. You don’t draft the best run defender in college football and play him 32 percent of the defensive snaps. Gotta unleash the kid. Get Nakobe Dean some run while you’re at it."

Almost everyone affiliated with JAKIB Sports seems to agree, from their talent to their guests, Kayla Santiago included:

There’s also Pro Football Focus. Sure, some of you love their stuff, and some of you may not. Regardless of what side you rest on in that discussion, however, they’re always interesting. Jordan Davis was their highest-graded interior defensive lineman and the seventh-highest-graded rookie overall. Everyone seems to agree (except Jonathan Gannon). We need to see Number 90 on the field more often.

During his weekly sit down with members of the Philly media, Jonthan Gannon lamented that it was the scheme that determined Jordan Davis’ usage in the opener. Our opinion won’t matter much, but we think we’ve imagined one that should gain support. If Jordan Davis isn’t factored into the game plan more often, said plan may need to be altered some.

This guy was the 13th selection for a reason, and remember, the Eagles had to trade ahead of the Baltimore Ravens to allow themselves the opportunity to draft him.