2021 NFL draft prospects: Ohio State OG Wyatt Davis

·4 min read
Eric Edholm's criteria for grading NFL draft prospects. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)
Eric Edholm's criteria for grading NFL draft prospects. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

Ohio State OG Wyatt Davis

6-foot-4, 315 pounds

Yahoo Sports draft grade: 5.81 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: Powerful phone-booth blocker with Hall of Fame bloodlines who might lack ideal size, athleticism

Games watched: Penn State (2020), Rutgers (2020), Nebraska (2020), Clemson (2020)

The skinny: A 5-star Rivals recruit (No. 22 nationally), Davis committed to the Buckeyes and redshirted as a freshman in 2017. He played in all 14 games in 2018, starting the final two at right guard against Northwestern in the Big Ten championship game and Washington in the Rose Bowl. Davis started all 15 games at right guard in 2019, earning first-team all-Big Ten and first-team AP All-America mention. After opting out of the 2020 season, he opted back in once the Big Ten restarted its season. He was named first-team all-conference and All-American once more, starting eight games at right guard before suffering a leg injury in the first half of the national championship game against Alabama. He declared early for the 2021 draft.

Upside: Mauler. Brings serious physicality to the field. Outstanding power and an elite finisher — lots of tape of him burying defenders.

Terrific anchor — lower-body strength and body positioning allow him to handle mass and force. Strong hands to ride and steer defenders out of the play. Holds firm and sinks well against bull rushes, compensating for a lack of length well.

Drives his legs well in the run game. Understands leverage and has quick hands to dictate the action. Stays low and maintains his power. Rolls his hips beautifully. Ideal fit for a gap-blocking system. Could be tried at center — has enough athleticism and smarts to pull it off with time.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 19: Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Wyatt Davis (52) in action during the Big Ten Championship game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Northwestern Wildcats on December 19, 2020 at Lucas Oil stadium, in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Ohio State offensive guard Wyatt Davis is a mauler in the run game. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Stays on his feet — not on the ground a lot. Keeps his feet underneath him in pass protection, with good weight distribution and balance. Sustains blocks well and doesn’t get cheated out there. Almost always gets his hands inside first — sophisticated hand usage. Seldom beaten in one-on-one matchups.

Ornery blocker — seeks to send a message. Fiery competitor who ratchets up everything he has to compete. Gives maximum effort, even on plays where he gives up ground. Takes lost reps personally and typically bounces back well.

Downside: A bit undersized for the position — scouts have questioned his listed height and weight, and length might come in below the ideal mark for some teams with more stringent guidelines.

Health of knee must be monitored — aggravated the injury in his final college game (vs. Alabama). Chronic knee issues have caused him to come out of games. One-position player in college — lined up only at right guard.

Hardly an elite athlete. Shows some ability to work into space but has trouble getting to the edge or climbing to the second level most plays — can’t always hit his desired benchmarks in space. A bit sluggish as a mover — not a great puller.

Pass-protection issues tend to show up when teams run DL games up front or flood his gap with blitzers. Slow recovery time and lack of short-area quickness can cause issues and lead to pressures. Appears to have trouble with his peripheral vision, spotting incoming rushers. Was involved in some miscommunications last season — could be seen talking with OL mates after some negative reps.

Level of play appeared to take a step back in 2020.

Best-suited destination: Davis appears to fit best in a power man-blocking system. Think: Panthers, Cardinals, Ravens, Saints, Patriots, Steelers, Titans, Giants and Washington. He could compete for a starting job from Day 1 with clubs like that.

We don’t know what type of blocking scheme the Jaguars plan to feature next season, but new head coach Urban Meyer once said that Davis’ recruitment at Ohio State was “one of the most enjoyable” experiences he has ever had, so perhaps a reunion could be in order.

Did you know: Davis’ late grandfather, Willie Davis, was a Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive lineman for the Green Bay Packers. Wyatt's father, Duane, might be nearly as famous — although not as much for football. He played college football at Mizzou in the early 1980s but struggled with knee injuries. Instead, Duane Davis made his name as an actor who played roles portraying famous athletes such as Joe Louis and Buster Douglas. Davis also played the lead role of Alvin Mack in "The Program," a 1993 film about a fictional college football program.

Wyatt Davis’ brother played football at Washington State and Cal.

Player comp: Similar to Laken Tomlinson.

Expected draft range: Rounds 2 or 3