The Ravens have added another big body to their defensive front.
After using their first two picks of the 2015 NFL Draft to add offensive playmakers, the Ravens addressed the middle of the defense by taking Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis in the third round (No. 90 overall).
Davis, 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, has ideal size for an interior defensive lineman.
"There are so few of those guys who play at that size on the planet," Ravens Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta said, referencing an old scouting term that refers to big linemen like Davis as "planet players."
Getting Davis at the end of the third round was a great value pick for the Ravens, even though the positional need wasn't as pressing as other spots on the roster. Some analysts predicted Davis might creep into the first round, and the Iowa product wasn't happy about having to wait around until the end of the third.
"I'm so motivated right now because I was expecting to go [first or early second round]," Davis said on a conference call with Baltimore media. "I feel like I'm one of the best defensive tackles in this year's draft. And I saw a lot of guys get picked ahead of me, and that's a chip on my shoulder. I feel like especially when I have a chip on my shoulder, there's nobody that can stop me. I just feel like I'm that much of a dominant player."
Before turning in the card with Davis' name, General Manager Ozzie Newsome entertained some calls from other teams about moving up in the draft. Newsome listened, but never got an offer good enough to pass on Davis.
"Since I've been in Baltimore, I've always loved to get me a big defensive lineman," Newsome said.
Davis will join Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan to form a rotation of linemen that have to replace perennial Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata inthe middle of the defense.
"Somebody has to carry the fire," Davis said. "Why not be me? And I know they have other players up there, like Jernigan, and those are terrific players. I plan on learning from those guys."
Davis was a run stuffer in college, and thrived in his role of eating up blockers. He started 26 games over the last two years, and was an All-Big Ten selection in each of those seasons.
He had 36 tackles and two sacks last year, and his stock really started to rise after an impressive week at the Senior Bowl in February. Davis caught the attention of scouts around the country, including the Ravens.
"Carl Davis is a guy who dominated at the Senior Bowl," DeCosta said. "I think a lot of scouts will agree that if you go down to Mobile, Ala., and dominate for the week, and play extremely well in the game, that's a really good sign. Guys that do that, we think have the skills to play at a high level in the NFL. We think Carl is one of those guys who is going to fit our defense scheme-wise."
Davis sees the same perfect marriage. He talked about his respect for Baltimore's defensive tradition, and emphasized his excitement about walking into a system with high expectations.
"Playing in this program for the Ravens, it's going to be beautiful because I really feel like I'll be able to manifest all of my skills and live up to my potential," he said. "I feel like it's basically my job to make every other team regret not taking me earlier."
Check out photos from Carl Davis' collegiate career at the University of Iowa.