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Washington gets a wide range of grades for the Jamin Davis pick

Was Jamin Davis a reach? Does it matter?

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2021 NFL Draft Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

There is a long tradition of people giving draft picks a grade less than 24 hours after they’ve been made. Some of them are spot on after the players have shown who they are after a few years in the league, and some of them look pretty bad. A lot of graders get stuck on their personal rankings, and will tank a player’s selection because of that. How a player fits with a team, and their needs plays a big part here as well.

Jamin Davis was the fastest-rising defensive player in this year’s draft, and his phenomenal Pro Day that showcased his athleticism definitely helped. He was viewed as a mid-late round pick late last year, and was only a starter in his final year at Kentucky. People fell in love with his measurables, athleticism, versatility, and the potential he showed last year. Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio get a lot of leeway when making a call on a LB, and they went with Davis over Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah here. This definitely affected the way some people who had JOK graded higher graded the pick. Others see a perfect fit for Davis in Washington and loved the pick.

Hogs Haven (A)

A poll was put up immediately after the Washington Football Team picked Jamin Davis. The results were close, but the majority of the Hogs Haven community has given the pick an A.

CBS Sports (A)

This is one of my favorite picks of the draft. He will be a special player on a talented front seven.

Fake Teams (Makes Total Sense)

Great length, an excellent tacker, Davis will instantly improve Washington’s linebacker group and will thrive behind their stout defensive line. This defense is going to be a PROBLEM yet again.

Pro Football Network (A-)

The Washington Football Team resisted the urge to trade up and select a QB and instead focused their attention on their biggest need on defense. They had their choice of several defensive options, and they took a chance in selecting Jamin Davis. Although there is uncertainty surrounding Davis, his upside is huge. That upside means he is yet another of the A grades in Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft.

NFL.com (B+)

Analysis: Davis’ athleticism won over the Washington Football Team. He is able to cover a lot of ground in space and tracks down ball-carriers with intensity. There is some risk taking a one-year starter, and Washington fans might also wonder if an offensive tackle like Teven Jenkins or Christian Darrisaw would have been the better pick. We’ll also see if Davis or Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who wasn’t picked in Round 1, end up being the better coverage linebacker.

Touchdown Wire(Farrar) (B)

With the 19th pick in the 2021 NFL draft, the Washington Football Team selects Jamin Davis, linebacker, Kentucky.

Analysis: Life as an NFL linebacker will require more than spot-dropping so patience might be warranted early in his career. But Davis is moving up boards for a reason. There is room for growth and we know NFL coaches often think that “if I just get my hands on him, I can mold him into something greater.” Whether this is simply “coach-em-up-itis” or something more accurate remains to be seen. But his ability against the run combined with his athleticism gives him a path to be an immediate contributor as the rest of his game is filled out.

Grade: B. It could be argued that Washington is a great linebacker away from becoming the NFL’s best defense, and I’m not quite sure if Davis is that guy right away. Davis brings formidable athleticism to the field, and Washington head coach Ron Rivera had that in Carolina with Like Kuechly and Thomas Davis, and there are elements of Davis’ game beyond the same last name.

The Ringer (B)

Washington boosts an already strong front seven by grabbing Davis here, an ascending playmaker with a scintillating combination of length, athleticism, and playmaking instincts. He’s worryingly inexperienced, with just 11 college starts under his belt, but the top-tier Washington defensive line should keep him clean and let him range around at the second level. I would’ve preferred Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah here, a player I’ve got much higher on my board, but Davis brings plenty of upside, too.

The Athletic (B)

Ron Rivera knows linebackers, and he got a good-looking prospect in Davis (6-foot-4, 234 pounds). Davis had 102 tackles and three interceptions last season. He’s long, fast (ran a 4.47) and rangy.

Davis should fit well as a run-and-chase linebacker in Washington’s zone-heavy scheme. He has elite athletic traits and gives Washington another talented player in its front seven.

The Draft Network (B)

Head coach Ron Rivera continues to add to his culture-building roster in Jamin Davis, a do-it-all linebacker who has sideline-to-sideline speed who will fill Jon Bostic’s role in his first season as a pro.

Sporting News (B)

Washington got some range and coverage ability at linebacker for Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio. It also needed a second safety to support the run and make plays on the ball. Davis, a hybrid chess piece, is a great fit to support Chase Young and the rest of the front seven. Davis gained late steam as a second-rounder and it was a little surprising he went ahead of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Washington will need to look for QB later and also passed up some strong offensive tackle options as the opportunity cost.

Fox Sports (B)

A former no-nonsense linebacker himself, Ron Rivera knows the position as well as anyone. Davis entered the year barely a blip on the radar of most scouts, but his stock soared for the Wildcats last season, and his potential is sky-high. The selection fills a clear need for Washington, especially given all of the stellar running backs in the NFC

NFL Mocks (B)

Jamin Davis is an extremely athletic linebacker prospect who is undoubtedly going to have a ton of success with the Washington Football Team, especially when we consider how clean that defensive line is going to keep him. Davis displays fantastic range at the linebacker position and is a dynamic playmaker both against the run and in coverage. Davis will shine in Washington because of the situation, but this was likely a bit of a reach.

Walter Football (B-)

I don’t dislike this pick, but I think it’s a bit early for Jamin Davis. I had Davis at No. 41 in my final mock draft, but he’s been as high as the mid-20s in some updates. It makes sense for the Redskins to address their dreadful linebacking corps with the athletic Davis, but I would’ve liked to have seen them address the offensive line because the offense needs all the help it can get. Still, Davis is a good player, and he fills a huge need.

Yahoo Sports (C+)

This is a huge rise for Davis, who started one game prior to last season. He came on with a great 2020 campaign and tested through the roof at his pro day, which led to many in the league speculating he could be a late first-round pick. But we can’t help but wonder if the WFT wouldn’t have preferred Ali Vera-Tucker or Zaven Collins, both of whom came off the board a few picks earlier..

SB Nation (C)

This was ... something. It’s an extremely Ron Rivera pick, and in this case I’m not sure it’s a great thing. Davis is extremely raw and untested with just 11 starts in his college career, and that doesn’t mean he won’t be great, it’s just the kind of raw potential pick we see on day two, not in the top 20.

Draft Kings Nation (C)

This pick is about upside and Washington believes that Davis has more longterm upside than Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Feels like a bit of a reach, but Riverboat Ron is building a defense that will be the best in the league by the time they get their franchise quarterback.

Pro Football Focus (Below Average)

Washington definitely had a need at linebacker, but Jamin Davis comes with significant projection. He ranks No. 41 on PFF’s final Big Board but was impressive in his first season as a starter. On top of that, his workout numbers were phenomenal, and he flashed real talent in coverage, which has become the single most important trait in today’s NFL. Linebacker is a tough position to play at the next level, and Davis has the tools to get it done.

Football Outsiders (D+)

The Hawaiian-born Davis is a natural Mike linebacker who emerged as a starter for the Wildcats last season. He’s always around the ball because he diagnoses plays quickly, runs well in the open field, and can dip his shoulder to crash through would-be blockers. Davis also intercepted three passes last season, including a highlight-reel pick-six against Tennessee, and can handle basic coverage assignments over the middle of the field.

This is a meh pick—I have several linebackers graded higher than Davis—and Washington drew the short straw as the first team in need of a quarterback to be left out in the cold.