2022 Fifth Round Draft Pick Defensive Lineman D.J. Davidson
April 30, 2022
Q. How much contact did you have with the Giants during the pre-draft process?
D.J. DAVIDSON: I went on the 30 visit like towards the end of the 30-visit deadline. So I went on a 30 visit and talked with Coach Patterson, talked with everybody, the GMs, player personnel, the whole thing when they brought me in there, and had constant phone calls. I had Zoom calls with Coach Patterson and Coach Cox. And they're amazing. The building is amazing, the coaches are amazing. I love the Giants.
Q. What was it that made such a positive impression?
D.J. DAVIDSON: I believe what made the positive impression is who I am as a person. I went back to my roots. I stayed true to myself. I stayed true and kept it real with the owners, with Coach Patterson, with all of them and what my goals are, just to be the best teammate, to be the best player that I can be, have them challenge me every day, my good days and bad days, and continue to respond in a positive way.
I said those things to them, and I think that's the main thing is just me as a person, they know the character that I am and just keeping the main thing the main thing, coming in, be the best team player, and just really put myself in the best ability and the best situation in their defensive scheme and what they have for this next season coming up.
Q. What are you expecting for your position, your role? Do you view yourself as a defensive lineman or nose tackle, or do you expect both?
D.J. DAVIDSON: I would say primary nose tackle but also at the 3-technique as well, be versatile. I expect myself to pick up on things very quickly and make sure I continue to stay in shape and continue to do the right things that I have been doing to get to this point.
As I said before, stay true to myself, stay true to my identity, and just really play for my teammates, my new teammates, the Giants, people like Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams, and just really playing for them and playing for Coach Patterson and everybody else at this position.
And that's what I expect from myself, and that's what I hope everybody in the building expects from me, is just be the best person, the best player, the best teammate that I can be.
Q. Did you get much input on the Giants from Antonio Pierce?
D.J. DAVIDSON: No, I actually didn't talk to Coach AP that much throughout this process because he's with the Raiders. He never really talked to me about the Giants or anything like that. I know he played with the Giants when he was at D.C., at Arizona State, he always put up his film. Always saw Twitter clips of him being a monster on the field, coming downhill, making tackles for loss, covering in coverage, all those types of things.
That's what really inspired me as a player, seeing my defensive coordinator in that position. And, I mean, it's the Giants. Knowing he played there and seeing that, I want to live up to what he lived up to and be on that level with him.
Q. Can you explain your journey a little bit? Seemed like out of high school, you had to take a little time just to get into college. What happened there?
D.J. DAVIDSON: So pretty much for me, came out of high school, I didn't start playing -- really didn't play tackle football until my freshman year of high school. I was in a gym and the football coach, the head coach, Jeremy Hancock (ph) and the D-line coach kind of all brought me in. They were telling me, this isn't basketball tryouts. Came into the gym, they said here you go, come sit over here. You are a big body, you can come play D-Line. I said, okay, let's get it.
Once I just fell in love with the sport, with that brotherhood, the camaraderie, the people that were all around me, the support systems, they really motivated me to get to that next level in college. I mean, I was originally offered to Central Florida coming out of high school, and I ended up -- that scholarship ended falling off, so I ended up staying home at Arizona State, which is where I ended up playing the rest of my years in college at, the past five years. That's how I really ended up getting into college.
I'm excited to get up there and get to work with Coach Patterson, Coach Cox and the whole D-Line and the rest of the defense.