Commanders’ Jon Allen praises Jamin Davis amid resurgent sophomore season
By Jerry Trotta
Led by Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Montez Sweat, the Washington Commanders defensive line has received most of the plaudits for the team’s defensive resurgence. While deserving of the praise, the performance of the secondary and Jamin Davis are worthy of recognition for the turnaround, too.
Davis disappointed as the No. 19 overall pick last year. Miscast as a middle linebacker, Davis looked lost as the defensive signal-caller, and his playing time suffered the consequences, as he found himself in a timeshare with Jon Bostic and David Mayo.
He was also the odd man out after Landon Collins moved closer to the line of scrimmage, which allowed Washington to play three safeties.
Though consistency is still elusive for Davis, to say he’s been a player reborn as a sophomore would be an understatement. With Cole Holcomb (now out for the season) shelved with a foot injury, Davis has assumed the green dot as the defensive signal-caller; sharing the role with the versatile and underrated Kam Curl.
Davis’ second-year growth isn’t lost on coaches and teammates. That includes captain Jonathan Allen, who waxed poetic on the young linebacker during his weekly radio appearance on 106.7 The Fan’s the “Sports Junkies.”
Commanders captain Jonathan Allen loves what he sees from Jamin Davis in Year 2.
"“We’re in an age when you draft a guy in the first round, you expect him to immediately be that guy,” Allen said, via NBC Sports Washington. “And I can understand it. But people don’t understand — because you watch the top guys in the league make plays day in and day out — I truly think people take for granted how hard the NFL is. You can look at the ‘worst player’ in the NFL and he was a stud in college. A baller. The best player on his team. For you to make plays in the league, it’s tough.”"
As he usually does, Allen made great points here. It’s no secret the front office reached selecting Davis with the No. 19 overall pick.
Drafted in the same range as Day 1 studs Micah Parsons, Rashawn Slater, and Alijah Vera-Tucker — and before readymade linebackers Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Nick Bolton — the expectations placed on Davis heading into his rookie year were unrealistic, if not unfair.
It can’t be overstated that Davis only started one year at Kentucky. Though a star in the SEC, it was delusional to think he’d be an instant success … especially in an unfamiliar position. That massive caveat isn’t lost on Allen.
"“Jamin only started one year in college, so he didn’t come in already super experienced,” Allen added. “Then he was thrown into a situation and expected to start and be the guy. And it comes with the territory. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. But, man, you’ve got to give people time.”"
Perfectly stated by Allen.
Numerous fans got on Davis’ case for not producing up to to the potential of a first-round pick. We were guilty of this, too. In hindsight, it was silly to jump to conclusions. Let’s also not forget the defense as a unit struggled with inconsistency. That didn’t exactly give Davis a soft landing spot to playing linebacker — one of the game’s toughest positions — in the NFL.
It’s no surprise Davis looks more comfortable with more reps under his belt … and with the defense performing up to its potential.
Allen and Davis combined for a forced fumble against the Giants in Week 13. While the expectations for Allen go without saying, Washington will be hard-pressed to miss the playoffs if Davis continues on his current trajectory.