Commanders mismanaged Jamin Davis
Jamin Davis was drafted No. 19 overall in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He had an exceptional final college season at Kentucky and boasted impressive physical gifts.
Davis was a bit off-the-radar early in the draft process. But by the time he was selected, everyone knew the Washington Commanders had fallen in love with his potential. Much like they did with cornerback Emmanuel Forbes during the 2023 cycle.
I thought - as did most people I know - that Jack Del Rio would initially use him as a replacement for Levin Pierre-Louis on the linebacking weak side. He was bigger, stronger, and faster, and the thought of him wreaking havoc from this position was mouth-watering.
But Del Rio put him in the middle - the hardest position to play on defense.
Davis did not have a ton of college experience under his belt. Though you could envision him eventually getting comfortable as a middle linebacker, he was woefully overmatched trying to learn such a tough job on the fly. It was obvious from day one.
He would constantly overrun gaps. Opposing teams rarely had to block him because Davis would run himself out of the play. But Del Rio insisted on keeping him in there until mid-season when he finally admitted defeat and switched him to an outside position.
To compound the problem, playing Davis out of position necessitated shifting Jon Bostic to the weak side - leaving two players out of position. Thus, Del Rio abandoned the very thing he had gotten so right in 2020.