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NFL Draft Profile: Kalia Davis

Despite not playing much since 2019, Davis’ talent and football IQ should get him on the board

Kalia Davis
Photo: Derek Warden

The first and possibly only member of the UCF Knights football team who may hear his name called at the 2022 NFL Draft is DL Kalia Davis.

In a year when coaching changes and COVID continue to reverberate through the program’s later classes, Davis presents a real opportunity for an NFL team due to his combination of size and speed.

Let’s break him down:

Measurables

  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 310 pounds
  • Arms: 33 5/8”
  • Hands: 9 12

Pro Day Interview

Stats

View more of Kalia’s stats here.

Outlook

Kalia Davis is one of those kids who’s good at anything he decides to do on the football field.

He came to UCF in 2017 from West Florida Tech as a three-star linebacker (and running back!), but bulked up from 266 pounds to 285 and moved to defensive end to start the 2019 season, and then inside to defensive tackle for the final nine games of the year.

He recorded 27 total tackles (13 solo) and three sacks in his first full season of action, even despite the position changes.

He was expected to be one of the anchors of the defense in 2020, but opted out due to COVID.

He returned in 2021 and quickly shaped back into form. His commitment to staying in shape through the pandemic impressed the coaches and fans alike. He even showed up on offense running the Wildcat in the 2021 Spring Game:

His development continued in the 2021 regular season, recording 17 tackles, 4.5 TFLs and a sack in the first five games.

But then he got derailed against ECU, suffering a knee injury that ended his season. Still, he immediately got on the recovery train:

He worked himself back into good enough shape to head to the Combine this spring, and his tape made scouts sit up and take notice with how he converts his speed into violent power at the point of attack:

Interesting

Davis is an avid Twitch streamer, going by the pseudonym KDesius, and plays Call of Duty, Fortnite, among others.

Kalia also wrote his own newsletter this past season, providing fantastic insight into UCF as well as college and pro football.

Projection

Day Three. Kalia would have been Day 2 were it not for the injury that derailed him, but still might sneak into Friday. His athleticism and versatility are undeniable, especially for his size. But what really gets him over the top is his work ethic and football IQ. You don’t excel moving around positions unless you know the game front to back, and he was more than proficient at linebacker, defensive end and defensive tackle. He will work his way into a starting front seven, even if he doesn’t start immediately.

He also totally gets it from a marketing and fan interaction perspective. He’s been one of our favorites to follow here, for sure.