Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jordan Davis (99) strips the ball from Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) in the first quarter. Georgia recovered and appeared to score, but it was ruled an incomplete pass at the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. (Curtis Compton/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

A strong NFL combine performance from Jordan Davis could end another long Georgia football drought

Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt have been inseparable the past couple of months. From leading Georgia to its first National Championship since 1980 to training together in Arizona for the NFL draft, the Georgia defensive tackles have spent a lot of time together.

When you consider their jovial personalities and outlook on the world, it makes sense why the two have stayed so close even as they prepare to ultimately go their separate ways.

“The connection has stayed the same. We’re brothers,” Wyatt said. “We got out there and laugh and joke. We just try to bring joy everywhere we go.”

Related: Georgia football defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt raises NFL draft stock

Davis and Wyatt likely won’t be teammates next season. Largely, it’s because of their draft status with both defenders being tabbed as possible first-round picks. Wyatt has shot up draft boards since the end of the season, thanks in part to a strong performance at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

Davis did not participate in the Senior Bowl, which is why his questions were a little more pointed when speaking with the media on Friday morning.

Despite being the more decorated college player between the two — Davis was a First Team All-American, finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting and won the Bednarik and Outland Trophy — Davis knows he has something to prove to teams in Indianapolis.

“Everybody knows I’m a run-stopper and pass-rushing sort of goes by the wayside with me,” Davis said. “Definitely in the offseason, it’s something I’ve been working on. Been working out with Chuck Smith. I feel when I have a disadvantage, I bring it to where I have even odds at that level. You want to improve and get better and I definitely think I’m doing that.”

At 6-foot-6 and 340 pounds, stopping the run came easy for Davis. He was both figuratively and literally the biggest reason Georgia was the only team in college football to give up less than 80 yards rushing per game over the last three seasons.

The harder part has been proving to NFL evaluators that he can be a disruptive player, specifically in terms of sacking the quarterback. Davis had only 7.0 sacks in his collegiate career. Much of that boils down to opportunity.

“Pass rush ability and conditioning. I’m working towards that,” Davis said on what his focus has been on this offseason. “You have to keep your knives sharp. You have all the tools in your toolbox, you just have to make sure they work.”

Georgia coach Kirby Smart would regularly reference the importance of Davis being in shape. A clip of Davis went viral after Georgia’s SEC championship loss to Alabama where Davis was seen with his hands on his hips and giving very little effort as Bryce Young torched the Georgia defense that day.

Related: Jordan Davis best captures a ‘forever legendary’ Georgia football team, celebration

Davis and the Georgia defense made the most of their second chance against Alabama, as the Bulldogs won 33-18. Davis nearly had a sack on the opening drive of the game, only for Young to just barely get rid of the football.

That national championship game was played at the same stadium where Davis will work out on Saturday. He plans on doing all the drills — a rarity in this day and age for a prospect like Davis — to show teams that he can in fact do it all.

“There’s a lot of speculation about my 40-time. I think that’s one of the things I’m ready to go out there and be excited,” Davis said. “As a lineman, you’re not really going to run 40 yards, so I’m more focused on my 10-yard split and getting a fast start.”

Should Davis provide the right answers to NFL teams, he’ll likely be a first-round pick. His physical gifts and selfless attitude should be seen as major positives at the next level. He credited his mental toughness to his time at Georgia.

Georgia hasn’t had a defensive lineman drafted in the first round since 2003. With Wyatt and Davis working together, as they did for Georgia’s championship defense, the Bulldogs might end up having two in the 2022 NFL Draft.

“The power of the tongue is really important and I believe in speaking things into existence,” Davis said. “Devonte and I, we keep the faith. We speak highly of each other, we speak highly for each other. Anything that we do we want to do it together because that’s my brother.”

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