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SB Nation NFL Mock Draft: Washington Football Team Selects Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky

Ron Rivera gets his LB!

Kentucky vs Tennessee Photo by Jacob Noger/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

The 2021 SB Nation NFL Writer’s Mock Draft has been underway for the last week and the Washington Football Team is finally on the clock(note: trades were not allowed in this mock)! Kentucky LB Jamin Davis is the newest member of the Burgundy and Gold, and is a welcome addition to the team’s defense. GM Scott Jennings and Mark Tyler explain the pick below, and how Davis fits on this year’s team.

Washington Football Team Head Coach Ron Rivera knows good linebacker play, and he was not seeing that for most of his first season here. He was pretty blunt in his criticism of one of the weak points of an otherwise stout defense. Kevin Pierre-Louis left in free agency, but the team did try to retain him. This left a hole at linebacker that was not filled in free agency (sorry David Mayo).

This mock draft fell the way a lot of people feared it would for Washington. The top quarterbacks, offensive tackles, wide receivers, cornerbacks, and linebacker are all off the board. Micah Parsons is the consensus top LB in this year’s draft, and unless those rumors grow more legs before draft day, he’s gone long before No. 19.

This pick comes down to three linebackers who could all help Washington solidify their defense. Jamin Davis has been one the fastest-rising defensive players in this draft. He has the size and speed to take over the middle of the defense. With Jack Del Rio running the defense, he will quickly be molded into a key piece behind one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. - Scott Jennings

Gone are the days of a 6’3” 250 pound downhill thumper who is a two-down LB at best. Today’s NFL off-the-ball linebackers have to be versatile, in that they can excel against the run but not be liabilities in coverage. Furthermore, the best linebackers in the game today can play multiple positions as the offense dictates(including MIKE, WILL, SAM, ROVER and even SLOT DB), and not be exposed by creative offensive coordinators(like we have seen here in the past).

Jamin Davis has outstanding physical attributes that will play perfectly in today’s NFL. When he first arrived at the University of Kentucky, he was a lanky 6’3” 195 athlete that needed to grow into his body under the guidance of a collegiate strength and conditioning and nutrition program. Fast forward three years, and you have an absolutely CHISELED 234 pound BEAST!

First, he’s a true sideline-to-sideline defender, who can shoot the gap, track a jet sweep or zone stretch, and pursue from the backside and cover the cutback. Second, he can play in the box, or excel in space as a positionless defender in coverage. Third, he’s excellent on Green-Dog, Cross-Dog or A-Smash blitzes, or off the edge where he can use his speed and bend. Finally, he’s still growing as a true off-the-ball linebacker, and his best days are ahead of him.

NFL Comp: Darius Leonard, ILB, Colts

Here is some film of Davis in different coverage looks:

Davis gets home on the blitz.

...and playing through the muck against the run!


I feel Jamin Davis is the most complete linebacker in this draft not named Micah Parsons. We know how much Ron Rivera values versatile off-the-ball linebackers who can play downhill against the run, and also be outstanding in coverage when asked. Some of his former pupils, Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson all held these qualities, and I feel Davis does as well.

He can step into this lineup from day one, playing behind one of the best front fours in all of the NFL, and be a difference maker on this defense - helping take it from great to elite! -Mark Tyler


What grade does Jamin Davis at #19 get?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    (558 votes)
  • 45%
    (702 votes)
  • 12%
    (196 votes)
  • 2%
    (41 votes)
  • 3%
    Dan Snyder picking from his yacht
    (57 votes)
1554 votes total Vote Now