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Eagles' Fletcher Cox has high hopes for teammate DT Jordan Davis in 2023: 'You can see the growth'

Jordan Davis' ankle injury forced Eagles general manager Howie Roseman to call an audible in the middle of the 2022 season.

Roseman hit the free-agent wire and added not one, but two veteran defensive linemen, signing Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph. The pickups provided the Eagles with the necessary depth to complete a run to Super Bowl LVII, but a year later, they're turning back toward a younger group, which means the second-year defensive lineman can't afford to miss time again.

So far, so good for Davis: He arrived to camp in good enough shape to catch the eye of a veteran teammate.

"I watched him run the conditioning test, he did a great job, I don't think he was gassed one bit," Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said Wednesday, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. "His conditioning, it's way better this year than it was last year. He's coming back, he knows what to expect.

"Flew around in individual (drills) in practice (Wednesday), and I'm looking forward to seeing him continue to grow. Came back, his weight was great. I'm excited for him."

Arriving to camp in shape matters for more than just looks or to pass a conditioning test. As Cox noted this week, Davis' conditioning -- or lack thereof -- contributed to his injury in 2022. Showing up ready to perform is paramount.

"I've been in his position," Cox said. "I've been drafted in the first round. You expect a lot, but the biggest thing is to get in and learn. Learn the defense. Learn how to practice as a pro. Learning the new environment and dealing with a lot of media and letting go of distractions.

"But he's going to be a really good player for us. You can see it. You can see the growth. The jump from the first season to the second season. And it's really good to see.

"He's healthy. Last year I think he really started to ramp up and then he got hurt and as a rookie I think that kind of affected him. He was out for an amount of time, and now he's healthy and he's flying around and you can feel his presence."

If Davis can live up to his first-round status, he'll be able to provide what Suh and Joseph teamed up to deliver the Eagles in 2022. In fact, ideally, he'll be even better, and with his old Georgia running mate, Jalen Carter, on the roster as a rookie, the Eagles have their future defensive interior set.

In the long run, Davis will replace Cox, who at 32 years old is much closer to the end of his career than the start.

Such a process truly begins in 2023.

"That boy, he looked good," defensive end Brandon Graham said of Davis. "In OTAs, just the extra work he was doing with me and all the other guys that were doing extra, you could tell that he's comfortable because his guys (from Georgia) are here with him.

"Got a little year under his belt, now he's going into Year 2, he's got some guys he's familiar with too, and that always helps, and they're all motivating each other. So Jordan Davis, I'm excited for, because I really do think he's going to have a great jump from Year 1 to Year 2."

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