With the No. 19 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Washington Football Team has selected Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis.
Last year, it was easy. With the No. 2 overall pick, the Washington Football Team was in a prime position to select Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young. There was speculation about a potential trade back, but Washington never entertained that possibility. They went with the best player available.
This year, however, things were more complicated. At No. 19 overall, with several pressing needs standing out above the rest, the Washington Football Team had a decision to make. They could have potentially traded up for a quarterback, but the board didn’t fall their way on that front. They could have also enlisted help at tackle.
But instead, they went with a high-upside talent on the defensive side of the ball.
Linebacker has been one of Washington’s top needs all offseason, and after they neglected to address it in free agency, it only became a bigger projected priority in the 2021 NFL Draft. Now, that position has been addressed, and Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis is on his way to D.C.
Davis didn’t have as much hype as other top linebacker prospects earlier in the offseason, but he steadily gained notoriety on the draft circuit as more and more evaluators got to his tape. He’s a long, rangy linebacker who has a ton of explosiveness and twitch in his game. He also shows flashes of instincts, and can flow through congestion very well. On top of that, he has great upside in coverage.
Davis’ athletic numbers solidified his profile. At his Kentucky pro day, Davis measured in around 6-foot-4, 234 pounds, and logged a 4.48 40-yard dash and a 42-inch vertical jump. He’s one of the most elite athletes ever to test at linebacker, and the 22-year old also has some of the intangible traits to match.
Still, Davis has relatively little experience for a college linebacker, so he will be a bit of a projection at the NFL level. But for the Washington Football Team, he presents a tremendously high-upside addition, at a more pressing need than offensive tackle. Behind Washington’s line, he’ll have a chance to play with freedom and a fast pace, and he could help the defense become elite.
I’m a big fan of this pick, even though it may not be the most recognizable one. What do you think about the Washington Football Team’s first-round selection? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!