Cory's Corner: Raekwon Davis Has Great Value

The Packers need a run stuffer. Can Raekwon Davis be that guy?

Quick, what was the biggest problem for the Packers’ defense last year?

If you said anything other than stopping the run, you may need to go and rewatch some games. The Packers were routinely gashed up the gut as they gave up over 120 yards a game on the ground and Green Bay gave up over 140 rushing yards six times.

So what’s the answer? The Packers nibbled around the edges at stopping the run in free agency. But they need something else up front to complement Kenny Clark.

The Packers are all about value and Raekwon Davis is exactly that. CBS Sports has the 6-foot-6, 311-pound defensive lineman going to Dallas in the third round with the 82nd overall pick.

That’s a steal. The Packers can still grab a wideout and then solve their running game defense. Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster are nice pieces, but let’s be honest, they are just guys. As long as those two guys are still there, Clark will be barraged with plenty of double teams that the other two won’t capitalize on.

I also like Davis because he knows how to win. Starting at Alabama for three years has taught Davis what it means to win and what one must to do climb the highest mountaintop. However, many point to his tackles for loss numbers and see that they went down each season from 10 in 2017 to 5½ to 3. That is why Davis has dropped from what many considered to be a first round talent.

And I know, there are many of you that are probably snickering about another Alabama running back that had trouble staying motivated. Eddie Lacy came to the Packers with plenty of promise when he was picked in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. And after five short years, he is out of the league.

I think Davis will be different. This team has plenty of leaders on offense and defense that will be quick to say something. Also, this new coaching staff has been great at accountability, especially defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

And since Davis could excel as a three-technique or five-technique, he would be a perfect fit. General manager Brian Gutekunst has been stressing versatility and this would be another example of that.

The Packers are close to advancing to another Super Bowl, but they cannot get there until the defense can get off the field. And that can’t happen until they can get some consistent stops on first and second down.

More than likely, Davis is going to be there for the Packers with the 62nd overall pick in the second round. If he’s there, go and get him. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (46)

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HankScorpio's picture

March 28, 2020 at 07:12 am

The two issues I have with Davis are that he is a marginal athlete and he comes from a football factory.

Generally speaking, I think it is harder to separate who is producing because their skill translates to the NFL and who is producing because they are surrounded by others that are future NFL players when evaluating prospects from Alabama, Clemson, Ohio St, etc.

I'm less concerned about his athleticism than I would be normally. The thing I think the Packers really need is an immovable run-stuffer like Ryan Pickett or Gilbert Brown. I'm less concerned about athleticism that aids pass rush ability or chasing down a ball carrier.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 28, 2020 at 04:31 pm

Leki Fotu or Benito Jones; one thing Dom got right in his 3-4 was bigger guys upfront. If Pettine wants quickness and play run to the QB , he should shift to a 4-3.

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dobber's picture

March 29, 2020 at 06:41 am

They play a lot of even fronts as it is...mostly on passing downs.

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TheVOR's picture

March 28, 2020 at 07:39 am

This is why slipping back to the first part of the 2nd round and picking up another 3rd is probably a very good idea for GB. The truth is there is nothing very attractive about selecting at 30, 62, and 94 and beyond. Nice player, a real football player. It mixes up the 2nd/3rd rounds to your advantage, and in a draft where we need ILB, DL, OL, WR and QB, 4 picks in the top 94 is a good thing.

Still think if a can't miss starting ILB prospect is there at 30, you probably have to draft there, but I wouldn't take a WR in the first round, and the draft class is deep at WR. I think we all know Aaron Rodgers wouldn't know what to do with a new stunningly talented WR anyway, he'd be whining about chemistry and assignment. Lets forget the guy can get open, he was out of position, or some BS. Rodgers had WR's open all last year, the film doesn't lie, he wasn't getting the ball out. WR at 30 would be a huge waste in a deep class. This is a Randall Cobb/Jordy Nelson WR draft class.

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Stroh's picture

March 28, 2020 at 10:54 am

I don't see them drafting a QB in the top 4 rounds. Its too early to start drafting for Rodgers heir apparent. That needs to wait another year, preferably 2, unless its a special situation, like Rodgers dropping to the late 1st rd. If for instance Jordan Love fell to the 2nd rd and was sitting there for the Packers. But that is highly unlikely.

They actually need 2 WR in the top 4 rds IMO. After Adams the WR on the roster should definitely NOT be in the top 3 of the Packers depth chart. They need a better #2 and #3 than Lazard, Funchess and EQ can provide!

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Fire_Gute's picture

March 29, 2020 at 05:27 pm

I agree on not drafting a QB, and can't believe so many people want one. I have no interest in drafting a QB at 30, or 62,or anywhere except late. I can't imagine what a rookie QB would look like if Rodgers went down and he had to throw to this collection of WRs. I'd rather suffer through a 4 win season with Boyle, or have a down year or two while actually drafting skill position players, pick a QB top 5,and give a new QB a chance to succeed. I'm also fine with trading multiple picks to move up and pick a QB later on down the road. But trying to plug a QB into this offense doesn't seem like a recipe for success

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stockholder's picture

March 28, 2020 at 08:38 am

I love the Alabama players. Davis looks the part of Tarzan . But his production says Jane. He plays too high for me. The packers can go any number a different ways for back-up. I don't want a back -up on that DL. We need a starter. Somebody like Kenny Clark again. Pads low and fast. Will he be there at #30 or later? Not this year. The solution to the DL this draft is Fotu. Grave Digger #2! He will be a starter in the NFL.

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dobber's picture

March 28, 2020 at 08:50 am

I like Fotu as well. Power player in the mold of Vita Vea without all the hype who can plug and play now. Mostly a two-down guy who will come off the field on passing downs, but it's not an issue if Z or Gary are playing with their hand on the ground. Hard to figure where he'll actually go in this draft, though.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 28, 2020 at 04:36 pm

There are guys in the fourth to fifth, Kahlil Davis from Nebraska, Davon Hamilton ,Ohio State. Big Ten guys know how to play the run.

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dobber's picture

March 28, 2020 at 08:51 am

Physically imposing and makes you take notice. One of his comps is Deforest Buckner, but I see more of an A'Shawn Robinson. Would be a significant upgrade over Tyler Lancaster and his presence likely improves Clark and Lowry, too. Reportedly has maturity issues and his numbers fell off later in his time at 'Bama...not leaving on a high note. Neither are a good sign, but was a player that opposing offenses were always accounting for so that needs to be taken into account. Hank's comments above are an important insight, too. I think he goes higher than the mocks are implying due to the dearth of DL talent, his physical attributes, and his 'Bama pedigree.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2020 at 01:08 pm

Dobber, great minds think alike. I’ve liked Davis from a he start. He should be on our shortlist by the end of the third round. I see him going somewhere between 75 and 100.

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Handsback's picture

March 28, 2020 at 09:13 am

If I'm not mistaken...Davis is a two gap tackle. A DT rated higher than Davis is Blacklock from TCU. The reason is he played in a one gap position and can get after the QB on pass plays. That's good but does that help the Packers against the run?
If Blacklock's film against the run is good, maybe he's the pick.
Who knows at this point?

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Coldworld's picture

March 28, 2020 at 03:07 pm

What we want, surely is an anchor, a 2 gap tackle. It would be nice to have both but they are rarely found in one player. If Davis is truly that, he should go later. That’s not a round one or two profile.

I do have a problem with bug guys with questionable motors though. In the past they have tended to bust and bust fast, usually by getting out of shape and taking plays off. I’d be nervous if there is something to that.

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Timeout's picture

March 28, 2020 at 06:02 pm

I agree, and the Packers already have one of those guys with a questionable motor. I think he wears number 90.

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Archie's picture

March 28, 2020 at 09:33 am

Blacklock is a definite possibility as is one of my favorites - Neville Gallimore - DT. Not sure why he's not getting talked up by PACKer fans but he has value at pick 30 and fits the model of a small trade down in top of R2. Put him next to Clark and surround him with the Smith brothers and Gary and you've got something.

May pick of a top of R4 pick that you could use to move up in R2 (from 62) to get your WR.

Come back in R3 to get the best ILB on the board and you have fixed 2 big problems:

1 - our defense is complete and can stop the run; and,
2 - Pack has another offensive weapon for 12 to throw to.

1 + 2 combined with what we already have adds up to a much more complete Packer team than we saw throughout TT's tenure as GM, other than maybe the SB year.

In R4 I'd begin looking at OTs. After that, CBs and RBs.

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stockholder's picture

March 28, 2020 at 10:27 am

Most Dts are judged on their ability to Rush. Devon Hamilton DT reminds me of Mike Daniels. He and Fotu NT/Dt would be my choices before yours, with Tyler Clark DT sleeper.

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Coldworld's picture

March 28, 2020 at 03:21 pm

I’m not a follower of college football, so I defer on the individuals, but agree strongly on type. We are rich in penetrators and not so in stoutness.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 28, 2020 at 04:48 pm

Oklahoma didn't even crack the top 60 in team defense. A run and chase group, not strong up front against the run and as usual, I am skeptical about pulling in their guys.

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PackfanNY's picture

March 28, 2020 at 09:37 am

The problem with drafting to fill a role on the defensive line this year is that they take time. I wouldn’t expect he (Davis or someone like him) can be plugged in 2020 and become the big run stuffer. Great if we draft someone like this but I don’t think that solves the problem. He probably helps more in 2021 and beyond.

Either the Packers are convinced Keke is poised to take the next step or they must have a plan I don’t see. Montravious Adams is an example of a guy who has not yet stepped up. Free Agency seems almost done. Maybe they don’t see it as big a problem as I do?

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dobber's picture

March 28, 2020 at 09:55 am

I think we've seen enough of Adams to know what he is not, and that's the long-term answer on the DL...or really any kind of answer on the DL. Love to see him come out and have a great season, but even if he did, he wouldn't be retained when his contract runs out after 2020.

As far as Davis goes, I think he could play significant meaningful snaps on run downs right away. His ability to anchor really doesn't seem to be a question. But he'd have to come off the field on passing downs...not a problem if you've got a Z or a Gary who can come in and be a pass-rushing presence, but I don't know how much draft capital you put into a guy who's not likely to be on the field on the majority of passing snaps.

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PackfanNY's picture

March 28, 2020 at 10:43 am

Totally agree about Adams but he still takes up a roster spot. Maybe this year he doesn’t make it?

As for Davis, I can’t argue with you that he could play significant snaps. I’ll leave the scouting to Gute and the scouts we have. I do think it’s difficult to plug in true rookies. Most guys seem to need the full pro off season regimen plus to acclimate to the pro game. Either way Packers do need help against the run but so far they have not addressed it. Long way to go though.

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Coldworld's picture

March 28, 2020 at 03:31 pm

I think we are not comparing apples to apples. Adams was picked as a penetration prospect with the frame to grow to handle the run. That type take longer to develop strength wise or they are top 15 picks.

Arguably Adam’s problem thus far is that he isn’t the stuffer and may never be. Big road graders are usually easier to slot in if they come with developed strength. They aren’t asked to do as much and thus have less to learn. Lancaster needed to gain strength: weight is not enough at this level. Getting a player able to take snaps in a run stuffing capacity now isn’t impossible in mid rounds. Lancaster was a UDFA.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 28, 2020 at 04:54 pm

Keke showed up in the Playoffs. I think they held him back too long and gave reps to Lancaster w/out merit. He will be stronger coming into year two. Montravious just didn't step up and earn a job.

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Stroh's picture

March 28, 2020 at 10:45 am

Many of the Packers problems stopping the run come from the scheme, not as much personnel. The Rex Ryan/Pettine scheme is based more on getting penetration and disruption than it is on gap integrity. Basically they play the run on the way to the QB. I agree they need a better starter next to Clark than Lowry, but unless they decide to put more emphasis on gap integrity and less on disruption/penetration the run D will continue to lag. And if you go that route your going to have to accept less pressure on the QB. Its a matter of picking your poison. Unless they get another dominant DT next to Clark, which would put the OL in a quandary as far as who to double on the interior, you can't have both sound run stopping AND penetration/disruption.

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PeteK's picture

March 28, 2020 at 12:13 pm

I fully agree with your analysis. A many times last season I rewatched some plays where we got gashed by running backs and saw that the DL slanted far too many times . This set up running lanes for the opposing offenses.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 28, 2020 at 05:03 pm

On highlight film of Kirksey, we saw the Pettine D-line slant and hold, but unlike Martinez, Kirksey looped fast around the OT and got in the Backfield fast enough to attack the runner. Maybe that will show up again? Shanahan figured out the overload and just ran simple counter plays and inside traps, looking like Bud Wilkerson calling the plays. Ryan dumped so much draft capital on his D line to deliver the upfront pressure the rest of the team suffered on offense. I'm not a fan of their scheme.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 29, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Good analysis , Stroh.

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splitpea1's picture

March 28, 2020 at 11:31 am

Regardless of the perceived value, is Davis a solution on the DL? Based on some of the comments I've read, it seems like he might be a little bit of a project, and despite his physical skills, we really don't need that at this time. Seems to need work on his pass rushing skills as well--those sack totals really plummeted. All I know is that we need a major upgrade at one of these positions and we don't have a lot of time to wait for development.

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Packer_Fan's picture

March 28, 2020 at 11:31 am

Just read an article from Acme Packers about the Pack could have chose Harrison Smith at safety in place of Nick Perry. How different that would have been if that happened. So here I am thinking, who are the Packers going to choose for the draft. Gute hit on two starters last year. SF hit on three that started immediately and were significant contributors to their run to the Super Bowl. You can only bring so many free agents in to make your team better. You also have to bring in new draft talent. I have been saying this that Gute needs to bring in another 2 or 3 rookies to contribute significantly if we want the Pack to make another run at a Super Bowl. And we need some of the 2 or 3 year players to take the next step. Especially from the later rounds. Who are they? They are out there. Hope Gute can pick the right ones.

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Stroh's picture

March 28, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Its really easy to play that game in a vacuum, but alot harder in reality. At the time Perry was one of the top pass rushers in college and the Packers had a distinct need for another pass rusher opposite Matthews. Safety on the other hand the Packers had Burnett, a young Safety who was clearly on the accent and were still hopeful Nick Collins hadn't been lost to a career ending injury. Either way Burnett and Smith both play SS so that clearly wan't a need. Both Smith and Perry were rated similarly as NFL prospect and given that Pass rusher is more important than S, not to mention need it becomes clear.

So when you put in in context and take it out of the vacuum it suddenly becomes a bit different! Maybe you should try that. It takes a certain amount of knowlege and intelligence to consider all the facts, instead of regurgitating what some blogger who doesn't know or care to give all the facts has to say as gospel.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 28, 2020 at 05:13 pm

Spielman moved up to the bottom of the draft to bag him. This year he's ready to restock DT and WR after dumping Diggs for the #13 pick and fleeced the Bills for additional 4s, 6s. You have to be aggressive if you identify a blue chip, not trade down and pass over future All Pros because you want to save a buck after wasting CAP on "your guys", like Perry, or accumulate low picks that can barely play sp. teams.

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dobber's picture

March 29, 2020 at 06:52 am

Spielman will be picking WR and CB early. Their CB room is empty at this point. The Diggs trade might have saved his bacon both cap-wise and draft-wise, but he's traded known commodities for lottery tickets. The Vikings and their roster/cap situation are what the Packers are trying desperately to not become.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 29, 2020 at 12:46 pm

He went for it and they could not get the plays to move into the SB on home field. Maybe they re-sign Griffin to help the Edge. Yes , CB will be high on his list with Hughes fighting the knee issue. Holton Hill the other guy? He retained Harris to keep a solid safety tandem.

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stockholder's picture

March 28, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Truly Marlon Davidson is the better pick before Davis. How do you not Love this: #Auburn DL Marlon Davidson on what he loves most about the game:
“What I love most about the game is that I can literally go out there and hit a man consistently and pound him
and the police won’t come.”

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PeteK's picture

March 28, 2020 at 12:18 pm

At 278 lbs , he goes after the QB but don't believe he can clog up the middle and protect our ILBs.

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stockholder's picture

March 28, 2020 at 12:54 pm

Marlon Davidson: 6'3" 303 10" hands. DE not DT. Davis would replace Lowrey and so would Davidson.

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Stroh's picture

March 28, 2020 at 02:30 pm

At 6'3 303 in a 34 D or a 43 D he is a DT. These arent the days of Reggie White when a DE was 6'5 300 lbs and Sean Jones playing DE at 6'7 280. If you thinking a 5 tech DE then he is still an interior DL (as in DT), not a true DE/Edge player. Either way the Packers seem to be wanting longer DL and Edge players. I don't think they'll look at DL unless they are 6'4 or better.

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Coldworld's picture

March 28, 2020 at 03:39 pm

Hmm, that’s the logic that got us Adams and Lowry. But we have Clark. Unless you are drafting to replace him, Clark types are way too expensive and we have lighter players. If we go DL, I thought, and think, that we need to be able to roll out a true heavy set. If not, I question this as a priority. Using Adams and Lowry to do that has not played to their strengths or worked.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 28, 2020 at 05:21 pm

So Johnny Randall would not qualify as an inside guy in todays game?

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splitpea1's picture

March 28, 2020 at 12:19 pm

I love it--that's the spirit!

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Lphill's picture

March 28, 2020 at 12:50 pm

Davis will make a good rotational player wherever he goes, if we have to depend on a rookie d lineman and the oft injured Kirksey to fix the run defense we are in trouble. Had Gute gotten Michael Pierce and Nick Kwitnikowski then the run defense would have been much improved.

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Handsback's picture

March 28, 2020 at 01:01 pm

Davidson is actually rated higher than Gallimore and Davis. Where Gallimore isn't that great at run stopping...Davidson is.

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Stroh's picture

March 28, 2020 at 02:35 pm

You don't draft DL in rd 1 to be run stuffers. A premium pick on DL better be able to put some pressure on the QB. You can get run stuffers later. CBS has Gallimore at 27 overall and Davidson at #56.

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Coldworld's picture

March 28, 2020 at 03:41 pm

Very true historically.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2020 at 01:14 pm

Respectfully disagree regarding scheme v personnel.

We need personnel that enjoy tackling on defense. That means guys who fight off blockers and get to the target. Some of the guys we have should be ashamed of how few tackles they made.

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Packman60's picture

March 29, 2020 at 09:21 am

I also like Davidson much better than Davis, but he will likely go mid-late 2nd or very ear;y 3rd. The Packers would be lucky if he was still there at #62.If he is I would pick him without hesitation.

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