“4.8 40 @341lbs Is Holy Sh-t Fast”| The Rock Raves About Georgia Defensive Stalwart Jordan Davis’ NFL Combine Performance

(Photo by Steven Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The NFL Combine took place in Indianapolis from Thursday to Sunday. Watching football players run around in shorts and doing drills isn’t an exact science when it comes to projecting how they will perform in the NFL, but when you’re Jordan Davis and listed at 6 feet 6 and 340 pounds — and you run 4.78 in the 40-yard dash — you deserve to be talked about at length. And move up a couple of sports in mock draft projections. 

His workout was so impressive it got former pro wrestler and movie star extraordinaire Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tweeting away.

The Rock, a workout warrior himself, can appreciate seeing someone kill it. Davis did exactly that. He also took the opportunity to plug the XFL which will start back up in 2023, under his ownership.

Davis won’t have to worry about that alternative league as he did himself a solid and will definitely be a top 20 pick in next month’s NFL draft. 

The 2021 unanimous All-American, Outland Award winner (best interior lineman) and Chuck Bednarik award winner (best defensive player) helped lead the Georgia Bulldogs to their first national championship in 41 seasons.

So he was already hot and heavy on the radar of NFL scouts. The blazing speed is just more affirmation that he might be the most unique and skilled defensive talent in the draft. 

His dominant trench play set the tone for a Georgia defense that ranks up there with the greatest defensive teams we’ve ever seen in college football history. Davis even garnered some serious Heisman Trophy talk, finishing ninth in voting, which is impressive for a lineman. The highest finish ever by a pure defensive lineman came in 1980, when Pittsburgh’s Hugh Green placed second to running back George Rogers.

Davis finished his senior season with 32 tackles (with six of them for a loss of yardage), two sacks and 14 quarterback hurries. The stats are solid, but an interior lineman’s impact isn’t measured in statistics. The exceptions are all-time generational talents like Warren Sapp or Aaron Donald. Davis routinely tied up multiple blockers, allowing his teammates to have one-on-one matchups and shoot the gaps and play in the backfield of the opposing team.

Players And Media Rave About Davis

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay had this to say about Davis’ performance. 

“I always think back to Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson, and Vernon Davis. That’s kind of my Mt. Rushmore of Combine performances since I started 22 years ago. We finally got a fourth face for it — Jordan Davis. From what I saw yesterday, it’s not even humanly possible, right? 341 pounds, running a 4.78.”

There was no shortage of tweets raving about Davis’ workout. 

2021 Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons said: 

Former NFL player and current ESPN analyst Marcus “Big Swagu” Spears, who represents the “big boys,” was ecstatic. 

NFL draft scout Matt Miller tweeted:

Davis Models Game After Fromer NFL Baller John Henderson 

Davis is a student of the game, and when he mentioned that he models his game after former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman John Henderson, it was a surprise to many. That just showed he actually watches the game and understands the importance of guys like Henderson at his size and position. The average fan probably wouldn’t be familiar with Henderson, but Davis is obviously a student of the game.  

“One person that I really honed in on was John Henderson from the Jacksonville Jaguars,” Davis recalls. “Very old name, not a lot of kids say that nowadays, but he’s just one of those guys when I first started watching football that I was drawn to. He’s one of the guys I studied. At my age, he’s one of the greats.”

Henderson stood 6 feet 7 and 335 pounds, and he was an interior gamewrecker like Davis.

Davis’ teammates showed out as well. Defensive end Travon Walker was so good that he is making teams think twice about drafting Michigan’s highly-touted Aidan Hutchinson or Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux over him. 

The belief around the league is that Walker has more upside than Hutch or Thibs. He played in the interior at Georgia alongside Davis, which limited his effect as an edge rusher. He will be allowed to spread his wings in an NFL system designed to allow him more opportunities to go get the QB. Walker stands 6 feet 5 and 272 pounds and ran a 4.51 in the 40. Blessed with excellent bend and reach (35.5 arms) off the edge, he’s a very intriguing prospect.

Looking at the immense talent possessed by two defensive players from one Georgia team, it’s no surprise that for the first time in a long time defensive players are the coveted pieces on the 2022 NFL draft board.


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JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.