Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis' patience was practically at an end when the Ravens drafted him in the third round.
Although happy to be picked by the Ravens, the All-Big Ten Conference defensive lineman had envisioned being picked late in the first round or early in the second round.
"Oh my God, it’s ridiculous," Davis said during a conference call. "I can’t even talk right now. I’m so motivated right now. I was expecting to go somewhere. I feel like I’m one of the best defensive tackles in this year’s draft and I see a lot of guys that got picked ahead of me, and that’s a chip on my shoulder.
"I feel like especially when I’ve got a chip on my shoulder, there’s nobody that can stop me. I just feel like I’m that much of a dominant player. Playing in this program for the Ravens, it’s going to be beautiful because I feel like I’ll be able to manifest all my skills and live up to my potential with all the great coaching.”
The Ravens selected Davis with the 90th overall selection.
However, Davis was widely projected to go much higher. And Davis acknowledged that his fall down draft boards created frustration.
"I was expecting late first, early second," Davis said. "When I slid all the way down to the third down, I was really down. I was still confident. I still knew who I was as a player but I just didn’t know what was the reason for this. It was just out of my control.
"All I could do was pray and just hope somebody was going to come get me. It’s going to be my job to make every other team regret not taking me and just make myself the best player so I can just get in there and dominate and show everybody what I got. It’s a beautiful league. They reward you for making plays, for producing. That’s all it comes down to.”
Davis met with the Ravens at the Senior Bowl and the NFL scouting combine.
The Ravens picked Davis after Florida State cornerback P.J. Williams went to the New Orleans Saints a dozen picks ahead of them. Plus, Virginia outside linebacker Eli Harold went to the San Francisco 49ers 79th overall. And versatile Northern Iowa running back David Johnson went to the Arizona Cardinals four picks before the Ravens’ selection in the third round.
"We really haven’t had a lot of contact," Davis said. "I didn’t think I was on their board at all. This is a great organization, especially on the defensive side. I’m very ecstatic right now. Words can’t even explain how happy I am especially being a part of a great program with so much tradition. I’m just really looking forward to it.”
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound defensive ackle excelled at the Senior Bowl, drawing strong reviews from NFL scouts for his ability to escape blocks and get into the backfield. Last season, Davis had 36 tackles, including nine for a loss, two sacks, a fumble recovery and a blocked field goal.
He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.07 seconds at the NFL scouting combine, had a 33-inch vertical leap and bench pressed 225 pounds 28 times.
“Carl Davis is a guy that dominated in the Senior Bowl,” Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said. “A lot of scouts will agree that's a really good sign. We have got great connections at Iowa. We know a lot about Carl Davis. We know exactly what we're getting as a player.”
Davis has long arms (34 5/8) and big hands (11 inches). He was a two-time second-team All-Big Ten Conference selection.
The Ravens envision Davis as someone with positional flexibility.
"Honestly, I’ll line up anywhere," Davis said ."I’m long enough to play on the outside and I feel like I’ve got enough speed, but I’m also stout enough and have enough weight and girth to me that I can play dead center in the middle. It doesn’t matter to me. I feel like I can do it all.”
He had 58 tackles, six sacks and two blocked field goals in high school as a senior. He also lettered in track and baseball.
Davis said he models his game after Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, one of the most aggressive players in the NFL.
"That’s a guy I always have watched his game since he was at Nebraska and watched him develop in the NFL," Davis said. "That’s somebody who I like his game and I’d like to take after.”
Davis is known for his toughness and power, but hasn't always sustained his effort throughout gamse and has drawn criticism for his intensity waning.
"That’s how we play at Iowa, kind of tough, smart, physical; guys just getting in there, getting down and dirty and just having to make plays, do the dirty work, do the trench work," Davis said. "I’m more of a physical guy. I like to knock guys back. I could be a finesse guy sometimes, but I’m more of a power guy.
"I’m a guy that can anchor in on the double team. I feel like I got a lot of different things I bring to the table. I can pass rush once I’m in a good position. I feel like I’m flexible enough to be able to get to the quarterback.”
The Ravens lost a big piece of their defensive line when five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was traded to the Detroit Lions where he'll help replace Suh. With Ngata gone and Timmy Jernigan set to replace him, Davis is hoping to be a major part of filling the hole created by Ngata's departure.
"Somebody has to carry the fire, somebody has to make the position go on and why not it be me?" Davis said. "I know they’ve got other guys like Jernigan. Those are terrific players and I plan on learning from those guys that have already been there and that know and play next to Haloti. He’s human, just like we both are. And if he can do it, I feel like I can do it.”