Former Philadelphia Eagles great Seth Joyner pulled no punches in analyzing what he’s seen from first round pick Jordan Davis so far, questioning his ability to maintain his weight and rush the passer. Joyner, a 2018 inductee into the Eagles Hall of Fame, appeared on JAKIB Sports where he’s an on-air analyst and said his biggest concern is Davis’ weight.
“He’s in the city of cheesesteaks and Tastykakes,” Joyner pointed out. “He played last year at 355 [pounds] in the National Championship game, then he got down to 340 [pounds] and went to the combine and just tore it up, ran a 4.78, which really excited everybody. It’d be real easy for the Eagles to be like, ‘Well he’s our number one draft pick and we’re not really going to stress him so much about his weight.’ If I was the D-line coach, if I had a say on it, I’d get his big ass down to about 320, I’d buy him a jump rope.”
“He’s got a lot of baby in him,” Joyner continued. “Man, when you look at him, he’s a young dude and he’s a momma’s boy, I’m pretty sure he likes sweet potato pies and all that kind of stuff.”
Joyner spent eight years in Philadelphia, three in Arizona, and one each in Green Bay and Denver. The linebacker was a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro. As an eighth-round draft pick who was initially cut in training camp, Joyner knows all about the business side of the NFL.
Joyner: Davis ‘Strong as an Ox,’ But Should Play at 320 Pounds
“You’re not playing football for fun no more, you’re playing football, this is a business, and your window of opportunity to be great and to win is a lot smaller than you think,” Joyner explained to JAKIB Media. “13 years went by a hell of a lot faster than I could have ever imagined. You don’t want to look back and have regrets about what you could have done, especially when it comes to conditioning and being able to be disciplined about your body.”
Joyner said he’d like to see Davis lean out and become more muscular, pointing out that he should have the frame to do so. “He’s already as strong as an ox, he’s already what, 6’5, 6’6? 320 is more than enough for him to dominate,” Joyner said. Davis is officially listed at 6’6″ and 336 pounds, although official roster listings are sometimes more flattering than actual reality.
Eagles Don’t Appear Worried About Davis’ Weight
That said, the Eagles don’t appear to be too concerned about it thus far. Davis spoke in the spring during OTAs about his hard work to lose weight, and his defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon seems to be satisfied.
“When he gets in there, he goes full tilt,” Gannon said in his August 18 press conference. “It’s always a thing for bigger guys. The hardest guys, when we grade our effort, is the backside corners and the D-line, because they don’t always — they a lot of times aren’t play side. So the backside pursuit, running out of the stack, finishing into the pile, all that stuff, we grade and evaluate that.”
“He’s done a good job of taking to that,” Gannon continued. “Hey, man, just because the ball is over there, you have to go run and hit it. I really thought he showed good effort in the game and good stamina, and there are no limitations on him.”
Despite his concerns over Davis’ weight, Joyner definitely sees the upside for the rookie defensive tackle. “If he can be a factor as far as the pass rush is concerned, now the Eagles are sitting in tall cotton man,” Joyner said on September 2. “Cause I think they thought that he could be a good pass rusher, but he’s yet to prove that he could be. Maybe that’s a product of being in the type of defense that he played in last year, maybe not. But I know if he wants to be great, then that’s an area he’s going to have to improve on.”
Davis is listed as a backup to Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave at defensive tackle but figures to get significant snaps in the rotation.
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