Many NFL rookies are wide-eyed and unprepared. This one, however, surely isn't. Unfazed and ultra-motivated, this young Raven is on a mission to make an impact. Charm City, meet Carl Davis.
WHAT YOU MIGHT KNOW...
• Some NFL draft experts said Davis could be selected late in the first round or early into the second. That didn't happen, however, as the big man dropped to Baltimore in the third round (90th overall).
"A lot of guys got picked ahead of me, and that puts a chip on my shoulder," Davis stated the day he was drafted. "I feel like, especially when I've got a chip on my shoulder, there's nobody that can stop me. Playing for the Ravens, I feel like I'm going to be able to manifest all my skills and live up to my potential."
• As Davis recalls, he and the Ravens had very little contact during the pre-draft process. Being tabbed by Baltimore actually came as a surprise. "I didn't even think I was on their draft board," he said. But according to Ravens Assistant GM Eric DeCosta, Davis shot onto Baltimore's radar at the Senior Bowl. "Carl Davis dominated at the Senior Bowl. A lot of scouts will agree that if you go to Mobile [Alabama] and dominate for the week and play extremely well in the game, that's a really good sign," DeCosta affirmed.
• Davis has played in all seven games this season, starting three. Working into a D-line rotation that includes young, budding standouts like Lawrence Guy, Timmy Jernigan and Brandon Williams, he has registered eight tackles and two pass breakups.
WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW...
• Davis is in the process of officially trademarking the term TRENCHWORK. (Just look at his Twitter handle – @Trenchwork94 – or his specially-designed wristband embossed with TRENCHWORK.) But for Davis, TRENCHWORK isn't just a brand he has created, it's also a mindset he embodies daily.
"TRENCHWORK is football-related, but it also deals with life off the field. It's about people who do the dirty work every day – people who get up and grind. It's about being resilient."
• While "pool shark" would be a stretch, Davis claims to be a "pretty decent" billiards player. After inking his NFL contract, one of his first purchases was a pool table. According the 23-year-old, he and fellow rookie Za'Darius Smith are the team's best billiards players.
• The top moment of Davis' football career occurred in high school on a play most D-linemen can only dream of making.
"I had really been studying our opponent's film. I told my coaches, 'Hey, they are going to run a screen right here.' I told my teammates: 'I'm going to pick it off!' I knew they were running the screen, but I didn't actually think I'd get an interception. The next thing you know, I picked it off and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown!"
• Growing up in Detroit, Davis was an accomplished drummer in his church band. Though he hasn't consistently played over the past several years, he says he can definitely still "hold a good beat."
"When we stayed in California for practice before the Raiders game, I went to a Guitar Center to jam out. I love jazz music and the all-time great drummers, like Billy Cobham and George Duke."
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW...
• Jernigan and Williams are the teammates Davis most admires. Not only have they served as mentors for the rookie, but they display football attributes at which Davis marvels.
"Timmy is so quick, especially for a big guy. He can convert his speed into power to get around anybody. Brandon has incredible strength. I'm really impressed with those guys and feel fortunate to play with them."
• Ravens D-line coach Clarence Brooks, who Davis calls a "father figure" for many players, teaches more than just football technique. According to Davis, "C.B." has engrained resiliency and mental strength that has helped the young player succeed.
"With 'C.B.,' it's about overcoming adversity and moving on to the next play. If I mess up, he goes off on me. But very quickly, he flushes it. I've really learned that you must have thick skin in the NFL."
• Davis is the furthest thing from a thrill-seeker. He has no desire to scuba dive, skydive or attain insane speeds of any kind. Instead, his exhilaration is rooted in a raucous atmosphere he finds especially comfortable.
"The biggest thrill and greatest high is making a play on third down – especially in our home stadium. When you make a play, the place just gets that much louder. When you get to the sideline and everyone is slapping you on the back, there's nothing better."