Follow the Pittsburgh Steelers throughout the aftermath of the 2016 NFL Draft and you will see plenty of experts ripping the team's decision to select Sean Davis, safety out of the University of Maryland, in the second round. Fans saw Pro Football Focus label Davis as one of the worst coverage cornerbacks in the land in 2015, but one thing fans should realize is Davis won't be a cornerback in the NFL. He will be a safety.
As you begin to watch some of the breakdowns below, you will see a couple things. One, Davis isn't playing the position he will be playing in Pittsburgh. Two, as a natural safety they will not have the natural coverage ability of someone who specializes in such a job. Three, Maryland was the picture of a dumpster fire in 2015 from the top down. And Four, Davis changed positions heading into his Senior season rather than cause a stink and decide to to possibly go elsewhere.
If you are new to watching any type of isolated film, here are a couple things to keep your eye on while watching:
- Footwork (backpedal, in and out of breaks, closing speed)
- Aggressiveness (both on the ball and the ball carrier)
- Ball skills
- Tackling ability
- "In the box" presence in run support
Maryland vs. Michigan
Maryland vs. Ohio State
Maryland vs. South Florida
After watching the film, I couldn't help but be disgusted by the fact all of this footage is of Davis playing a position he won't be playing in a black and gold uniform. I did some searching, and was able to find a highlight reel of Davis after the 2013 season, as a safety.
Watch the film below, and you see his closing speed, the ability to play in space and a ball hawking attitude with physicality to boot. Combine that style with the coverage skills of a cornerback, and you could have yourself the total package in the back end along with Mike Mitchell.