Sunday, January 24, 2021

Davon Godchaux looking to keep building in 2020

Originally selected in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Davon Godchaux has quietly become a stalwart along the front of the Dolphins defensive line. The 6’3″ 315lb interior lineman has steadily seen his workload increase and has continued to raise his game.

2017 was a very different time for Miami’s defensive line. Drafted into a group that featured veteran producers like Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh, Godchaux was the third defensive player taken that draft after Charles Harris and Cordrea Tankersley.

With Charles Harris recently traded, and Tankersley buried in the wilderness of Miami’s roster, Godchaux has become the Dolphin’s major defensive success from that draft.

Davon Godchaux posted 12.5 sacks while at LSU

Davon Godchaux from Tiger to Dolphin

Playing in 35 games during his collegiate career, Godchaux was seen primarily as a pass-rusher by some, with Bleacher Report saying: “He is still a bit raw and isn’t very well-suited against the run at this time. He can work well as a situational pass-rusher at the start of his career, being used primarily in obvious passing downs”.

However, from his first year to 2019 he has consistently graded better against the run than the pass (per PFF), including a grade of 84.0 in 2018. Ranking joint-first in the NFL for solo tackles by a DI in 2019 with 52, Godchaux has improved his performance in each of his three seasons in Miami.

Davon Godchaux continued to improve under the new regime in 2020
Davon Godchaux continued to improve under the new regime in 2020

While his run defence continues to be stout, his pass rush game continues to improve. He has found coming after the QB from the tackle spots a lot harder in the NFL, however, his 18 pressures in 2019, coupled with 2 sacks are both career highs.

In 2019 under the new regime of coach Flores, Godchaux saw his snaps increase to 713, up from 672 in 2018, and 500 in 2017. He also found himself being moved around the line more than he has in other seasons.

Coach Flores gave Godchaux his most ever reps in a season at NT, with 162 snaps compared to a previous high of just 30 in 2018. Most of his snaps continued to be at DRT a role that suits his talents more, allowing him to use his quickness and fluidity to penetrate into the backfield to make more of an impact on plays.

The addition of raw rookie Benito Jones in free agency could offer a chance for Godchaux to play more snaps alongside a genuine NT which could help his game develop further over the coming seasons.

Godchaux still has room to grow into his role as a starter. He led the league in missed tackles in the run game with eight and needs to consistently apply more pressure on the QB. However, his trajectory is definitely on the up.

If Davon Godchaux will look to improve his pass rush in 2020 © Charles Trainor Jr
If Davon Godchaux will look to improve his pass rush in 2020 © Charles Trainor Jr

Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Davon Godchaux will make $2.1 million dollars in 2020. Expect to see an extension, possibly before the season begins as the Dolphins look to cement the interior of the defensive line for the future.

Not to be overlooked is the work that Davon Godchaux has been doing in the community and his overall impact on the locker room. He has done a lot of work mentoring children, working with at-risk youth, and supporting the Dolphins Cancer Charity.

He also has his own charity foundation, Chauxdown Inc., that provides at-risk youths with programming that supports their education, fitness, and overall well-being. He was the Dolphins 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year Nominee.

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