Jordan Davis's improvement is key for the Eagles success in 2023

Jordan Davis spent much of his rookie season learning the ropes, but his improvement in 2023 is vital for the Philadelphia Eagles' success.

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles
NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

This is a loaded roster. You have heard that before right? It isn't just the Philadelphia Eagles' defensive line. There are above-average players everywhere. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham are getting older, but they are still forces that can rack up big numbers.

Hasson Reddick and Josh Sweat bring high-level pass-rushing skills. Nolan Smith and Jalen Carter have the potential to be defensive superstars, but we have to shine the spotlight on Jordan Davis.
Sure, he may not produce the same stat line as some of his other defensive linemen or be as productive, but his development is crucial for the Eagles this season.

Davis stands at six-foot-six inches and weighs 336 pounds. As you know, he played his college ball at the University of Georgia, started for four years, and was a part of the NCAA National Championship-winning team in 2021 before the Birds selected him 13th overall during the 2022 NFL Draft.

Don't look now, but year two is on the horizon. What can we expect to see?

Even with a plethora of talent surrounding him, Jordan Davis's presence is absolutely vital for the success of the Eagles' defense and roster as a whole.

Davis was a force to be reckoned with in the run game as a member of UGA's defensive line during his four seasons as a member of the roster. Davis earned an 86.5 grade as a run defender in 2021 according to PFF, and he enjoyed grades of 80 or higher in three of his four seasons.

In addition, Davis was able to provide some value as a pass rusher. He amassed three sacks, two quarterback hits, and nine hurries in 2021, giving him a career-best 68.8 PFF overall grade as a pass rusher.

Davis's physical stature may make someone assume that he simply should be asked to clog space and create lanes of attack for his defensive teammates. That is not the case. He is very athletic for his size. Look no further than his 4.78-second 40-yard dash showing and his ten-foot-three-inch broad jump for evidence.

The rare combination of skill, size, and athleticism is what caused the Eagles to select Davis in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. And while Davis had some production, highlighted by a 72.2 PFF run defense grade, it was not a perfect season. The defensive tackle struggled at times and suffered injuries, forcing them to look to free-agent signings (Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh) for consistent production.

Heading into the coming regular season, Davis is looking to build off of his rookie season. He hasn't lost weight. He says he is still in the 340-345 range. When recently asked about what appears to be a more toned frame during a sit-down with the media, he replied by saying "It's all about conditioning."

"I have a good shape. That’s all I worry about, is how I look in the mirror every day. My face slims up. I look a little bit more handsome. That’s a little motivating too. You want to look good, feel good, play good. And just be healthy for life."

Others have taken notice of Davis's improvements already. Everyone from fellow defensive lineman Fletcher Cox to some of the Eagles' veterans like Lane Johnson has sung his praises.

New defensive coordinator Sean Desai, when asked about Davis, mentioned how he has loved the "mentality" the defensive tackle has been playing with.

With positive momentum heading into training camp, it is very important for Davis to capitalize on his opportunity. He has the talent to be a force for the Eagles this season and add another dimension to their defense.

Whether he improves or stays stagnant, Jordan Davis is a key factor in the Eagles' 2023 season. If he is able to improve and build off his strong start, the Eagles will have a defense that could potentially be better than last season.

Check out a few of these other Eagles stories as well.