Raekwon Davis was a big recruit.
The four-star defensive tackle towers over most players at 6’7, and he carries his 315lbs well with that height. It didn’t take long for Davis to see the field, first getting action against Western Kentucky in Week 2. He would play in seven total games in mop-up duty behind Alabama’s stacked defensive front.
With the departure of players like Jonathan Allen and Dalvin Tomlinson, Davis has a much easier shot at more regular playing time in 2017. He flashed some of that talent in 2016, and we definitely saw some more of it during A Day.
4th and 3: The beatdown for Mississippi State is almost over, but it’s not quite done yet. Davis is over the right guard as one of two down linemen. The guard is slow to react, and Davis smashes straight into his chest before he can get his arms on him. With his arms inside the guard’s and carrying all the momentum, Davis just drives the hapless lineman backwards straight into QB Damian Williams. Davis falls into Williams and brings him down, knocking the ball loose. It’s Davis’s first career sack and forced fumble.
1st and 10: Davis (No. 99) is the 3-tech defensive tackle on the left. The play goes to his right, and he goes with it. The right guard chips him before moving on to the second level, letting the right tackle pick him up. Davis gets by him inside and attempts to wrap up RB Najee Harris, who, unfortunately for Davis, slips out of the tackle and bounces it to the right for a big gain.
2nd and 7: Two plays later, Davis is line up at the same spot. The right guard, Deonte Brown (No. 65) pulls to his right; so Alex Leatherwood (No. 70) picks Davis up. Davis keeps Leatherwood at arm’s length, watching the backfield. When Najee Harris bounces outside, Davis is able to easily disengage and pursue. He doesn’t end up factoring into the tackle, but it was a nice job by him regardless.
1st and 10: Davis is on the left again. He’s a little slow off the snap (something I’ve noticed on a couple other plays), but it doesn’t hurt him here. Davis is double-teamed by the guard and tackle but doesn’t let himself get pushed back, and he keeps his feet shuffling to the playside. Because of this, and some other defenders winning their battles, Harris has no room to run.
2nd and 12: Davis is over the right guard. He keeps Deonte Brown away from him, but Brown’s strength wins out this time. Brown pushes Davis backwards and moves him to the side and out of the way. Harris’s run still only gains a couple yards, though.
3rd and 8: It’s the very next play, and Davis is at the same spot. He gets a good jump and goes for Brown’s outside shoulder. Davis rips away Brown’s hands and starts turning him. He’s able to push past; and suddenly he’s right in Mac Jones’ lap. Davis gets a little eager and actually tackles the black jersey-clad Jones for the sack.