Akeem Davis-Gaither

Linebacker

Appalachian State

6'1"

224 lbs

SCOUTING GRADE

6.78

Games Evaluated: 2019 Vs: UL Lafayette, South Carolina, UAB, South Alabama

Report By: Peter Vandeventer

Scouting Report

ATHLETICISM: 7.13

Q.A.B. / C.O.D.: 6.90
Flexibility: 6.60
Explosiveness: 7.30
Playing Speed: 7.50
Coordination: 6.80
Position Versatility: 7.70

Good, borderline very good ability to change directions and contort his body to make a play. He is very agile in this part of his game and has good short-area quickness. Good flexibility and uses it to get around blocks and make plays on the ball. Good knee bend and doesn't get thrown off his base often. Very explosive player that can create and make plays from all of the field. ADG is very fast and it shows with his sideline-to-sideline pursuit and willingness to the whistle. Generally a very coordinated athlete but he has issues in pass defense where he looks disconnected from his body when the ball is heading in his direction. This could be due to a lack of exposure in the pass game but still needs to develop and smoother transition between a backpedal and attack mode, mentally and physically. He came off the edge and played some coverage as a nickel. also lined up outside the TE and inside the box over the guards. One of his best qualities is his versatility, to do the same at the next level means he should add some more to his frame.

PASS RUSH ABILITY: 6.43

Initial Quickness: 7.00
Rush with Leverage: 6.50
Pass Rush Moves: 6.00
Pressure Consistency: 6.20

Good initial quickness, I want to say very good but he had several instances where he got off the ball too late. But when he is lining up off the edge, He showed the speed around the corner at a decent rate. Tries to avoid blocks instead of fighting through them. When he gets a full head of steam then he can create leverage but doesn't control leverage when his first move is nullified. Lacks a go-to move off the edge but has a strong inside first step. Better when he stunts, Has a bit of a swipe and rip move but appears to use it more against the run than he attempts in the pass. Good pressure but a decent amount of created pressures could attribute to good coverage.

COVERAGE: 6.75

Pass Drops: 6.50
Coverage Awareness: 6.90
M/M Coverage: 6.60
Zone Coverage: 7.00

Has solid pass drops. Backpedal isn't as strong as his lateral quickness and turns and runs a lot sooner than you would like. Should sink further into his pedal and use his explosiveness more in pass drop. Drops into flats quickly. He shows good coverage awareness and knew boundaries to his coverage and other defenders. Knew what to do and read QBs eyes when spying. Sticks to his man well but the issue for ADG is that when the ball is in the air, he has some issues with false steps and being flat-footed out of breaks. Looked uncomfortable when tasked with covering receivers than he did with TEs. A better zone defender than in man and was tasked with the flats and hooks. stayed over top of his zone and would pass on/take on receivers well enough. Doesn't get too handsy in coverage and does more reading of the QB than anything. Won't abandon zone when QB scrambles/leaves the pocket.

AGAINST THE RUN: 6.72

Play with Leverage: 6.60
Stack and Shed: 5.50
Run at Him: 6.40
Runs Away: 7.50
Tackling/Hitting: 7.60

Good leverage defender keeps a strong base that keeps him from being overpowered despite the weight difference. Keeps leverage when on the attack and doesn't get sloppy along the way. Didn't see him stack and shed too much, and when he did was when matched up against receivers. His aggression could play a factor as he isn't always willing to let the play come to him but rather push the needle and make a play. Solid defender with runs towards him. Can have issues with disengaging from blocks and controlling blocks. Does Not stack and shed as much as you'd like. Still found his way into tackles but did a good job holding containment and forcing the play back inside. He trails plays very well and would circle around the LOS to make a tackle from behind (something that i don't think will happen as much at the next level). Does Not give up on plays which makes him a very good trail defender with runs away from him. He is a strong hitter with great range and pop to his tackles. Not many missed tackles and made several unexpected tackles. Nice tackle radius as well.

COMPETITIVENESS: 7.27

Toughness: 7.10
Production: 6.70
Consistency/Motor: 8.00

Very tough defender who will put his life on the line (in a good way). Willing to take on lead blockers in the run game, whereas other times he avoids some tackles when trying to make a play. Had a good year this past year that built on a nice junior season. Didn't see that huge of a jump but still put up over 100 tackles and ~15 TFLs. High motor player who plays quick in all phases of his game. His motor allows him the ability to make plays in the backfield or cutting down lead blockers and throwing the play off.

INTELLIGENCE: 6.73

Instincts: 6.70
Learn/Retain: 6.70
Concentration: 6.80

Good instincts that can get set him up well around screen plays and around the LOS v the run. Can get deceived by his instincts and not play with an understanding of his surroundings at all times. Showed growth and development in his game as the year went on. Started to use his speed more in pass rush while also showing that he could spot certain route concepts such as the curl - flat concept. Good concentration that won’t find him breaking it too often. Won't let a bad play affect his next play.

STRENGTHS

He is a strong run defender who trails plays well and plays through the whistle. Finds a way to fight through piles near the LOS. Shoots gaps well and keeps containment as a pin defender. He was asked to rush the QB a lot and had success at moments when he starts outside and utilizes an inside move, with or without a stunting interior defender. He can run with TEs, RBs, and some WRs downfield. He covers well in the flats and understands to stay over top and force players to the sideline. Attacks the ball and recognizes screens very well. Better moving horizontally with shuffle than having to depend on his backpedal. Aggressive but not overly aggressive and a very effective spy.

WEAKNESSES

Is underdeveloped as a pass rusher despite being asked to do it a lot at App State. Trouble disengaging from blocks and using his hands to do so. False steps and general issues with dropping into coverage such as recognizing and reacting to the ball in the air. Gets a little flat-footed when at points in coverage. Does Not read rush lanes all that well, but still reads the backs well. Can have issues with overly compensating for outside contain and leaves a GIANT gap, needs to attack a little more to close the gap

BIG PICTURE

Akeem Davis-Gaithers is extremely athletic and will be a very strong special teamer instantly. He will have to develop into a specific role for whatever team he lands on. He can play as a hybrid LB in subpackage or add some weight to be a SAM LB. He is strong against the run despite the weight difference and was asked to play as a pin defender, which he was very good at for App St. I expect him to go off the board anywhere from the middle of day 2 to the beginning of day 3. Team that takes him will have to decide what they want to do with him and carve out a specific role for the athletic LB.

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