Jamin Davis | KENTUCKY 6’-4” 232 lbs. 12/12/1998 (Age 22)
Jamin Davis was drafted 19th overall by the Washington Football Team, becoming the third linebacker selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Jamin Davis entered the 2021 NFL draft as a redshirt junior. He was a starter for the University of Kentucky Wildcats for just one year. Davis topped off a very productive year with a break-out bowl game versus North Carolina State. He collected 13 tackles, was in on a QB sack, and picked off a pass to secure a victory. He ended the season with 102 tackles including four for loss and four forced turnovers.
Jamin Davis’s pro-day performance accelerated his rise into consideration as a Round-1 NFL draft prospect. Measuring 6’-3 ½” and weighing in at 234 pounds, Davis put up elite speed and burst numbers including a 4.47 40-yard dash, an 11’-0” broad jump, and a 42” vertical. He passed on the agility drills, but the results he posted suggest he has historically extraordinary athleticism for an off-ball linebacker.
Rapid Reaction to Draft Capital: Excellent
Rapid Reaction to Landing Spot: Excellent
Draftniks and IDP fantasy writers alike were eyeing Washington as a premium landing spot for a linebacker in the early rounds of the 2021 NFL draft. Head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, both former NFL linebackers, didn’t disappoint. Rivera identified replacing Kevin Pierre-Louis, a rotational coverage linebacker, as a priority before the draft.
They selected a player with the length, burst, and speed to cover NFL tight ends in man coverage or drop back into intermediate zones. Jamin Davis has the size to be disruptive in the run game but was used more as a player in space at Kentucky.
Davis should step into a primary if not full-time role immediately. The incumbent starters, Cole Holcomb and Jon Bostic are replaceable players whose play recognition and coverage skills leave coaches wanting. Holcomb played well in a rotational role in 2020 but struggled down the stretch as a full-time player. Bostic was a high pick who nearly washed out of the league but has found a rhythm as a minimally adequate player in a defense that doesn’t demand too much of him.
After the selection, Washington GM Martin Mayhew told reporters that he felt Davis could play either in the middle or outside in the Football Team’s 4-3 defense. In 2020, the team rotated several combinations of linebackers looking for the right combination before settling on Bostic at MLB and Holcomb at OLB. They’re likely to perform a similar exercise with the incumbents and Davis in 2021. Davis is almost certain to occupy a full-time role once he internalizes the scheme and develops a rapport with a running mate.
Jamin Davis will benefit from playing behind a stellar defensive line comprised of four former first-round picks who all took developmental steps forward in 2021. The defense isn’t primarily a two-gap system, but it does fairly effectively keep its linebackers clean. The linemen do add competition for tackles, thus lowering Davis’s ceiling for total tackles slightly.
IDP Twitter reacted positively to the landing spot immediately and has Davis pushing 12th overall pick, Micah Parsons, as the number-one IDP in fantasy rookie drafts. Davis won’t, therefore, represent any kind of value; however, he looks like a safe pick. He should return immediate value as an LB3 with plenty of upside to be an LB2 depending on how quickly he assumes a full-time role.
More from @NFLMatchup —
We looked at the LBs with three-down ability & disruptive traits in the ‘21 draft class.
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) April 28, 2021
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