Why Eagles DT Jordan Davis could be on the cusp of a breakout season

Eagles jordan davis
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 30: Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jordan Davis (90) rushes during the game between the Pittsburg Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles on October 30, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

The downfall of the 2023 Philadelphia Eagles is something that will likely be referenced for a while, but one player who caught a lot of flack as the whirlwind picked up speed was Jordan Davis. As a new dawn approaches, so does a new version of a player who many felt left a lot of meat on the bone during his last rodeo.

Jordan Davis looking to bounce back in 2024

By his own admission, Jordan Davis struggled throughout the 2023 season. The Eagles’ defensive tackle drew plenty of criticism as the year drew on, with the likes of Brian Baldinger ripping into the Georgia product for playing ‘out of shape’.

His stats didn’t exactly pop either, ending the campaign with 45 tackles and 2.5 sacks – not exactly a glistening year in comparison to what we saw from Jalen Carter. But with most of his work being done away from the stat sheet, swallowing up double teams and creating opportunities for his teammates to feast, it was difficult for fans to be overly disappointed in his play when watching closer than what we see on TV, but also completely fair for others to be critical of his apparent lack of development.

An offseason of change for the team didn’t just stop at the surface level, and Davis is now entering 2024 with a refreshed mindset.

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Jordan Davis referenced a big change in his weight. As things stand, he weighs around 350 lbs and looks much leaner than he did at this point one year ago. He’s clearly heard the noise and taken the criticism onboard.

This is a big year for Jordan Davis. Not only is it the third year of his rookie contract, but the first in which Fletcher Cox won’t be playing alongside him. It’s down to Davis and Carter to carry the load at defensive tackle, which is a lot of responsibility given the importance of the position and lack of veteran presence behind the two surging bulldogs. This isn’t lost on Davis, who told reporters that he’s ‘ready to answer the call’:

Jordan Davis
LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 28: Jordan Davis, Georgia is selected as the number 13 pick by the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFL Draft on April 28, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire)

Added context to the struggles of Jordan Davis provides reasons for promise

During his rookie season, the Eagles’ run defense gave up 3.87 yards per carry when Davis was on the field as opposed to 5.10 yards per carry when he was off of it. In 2023, a year many considered to be a step back, Davis ranked 7th of all DT’s in run-stop win percentage (per ESPN analytics) and was the only DT inside the top 10 to have been double-teamed on 50%+ of his plays. If last year really was a case of criticism being misplaced, but has resulted in a huge transformation for an already efficient defensive tackle, 2024 could really be a breakout year.

We also have to remember that his snap percentage shot up as his role increased. He was obviously a heavier defensive tackle who had suddenly moved into a 3-down role, which is bound to wear him out as drives progress. To still be that efficient despite those limitations is actually the opposite of worrying.

With Vic Fangio at the helm, the defensive tackles in Philadelphia are likely going to take on new roles in 2024. The return of a 3-4 defense is going to mean we see Carter, Davis, and the rest of the group used in a variety of different ways, and a leaner, meaner, Jordan Davis, is only going to add to what the Eagles can do defensively.

Eagles Jordan davis
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 07: Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jordan Davis (90) looks on during training camp on August 7, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

The sky is the limit for a player who drew plenty of shots last year without many of them having any real weight behind them. But now that Davis has used those as an opportunity to better himself, we could really see him take his game to another level under Vic Fangio’s tutelage.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire