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Jamin Davis Has A Mentor In Cole Holcomb

(Photos by Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)
(Photos by Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)

It wasn't too long ago that Cole Holcomb was in a similar position as first-round pick Jamin Davis.

Granted, the expectations surrounding Holcomb in 2019 were different than that of Davis' this season. Holcomb's draft profile listed him as a "backup/special-teamer," while Davis was viewed as a more immediate starter.

But there are some similarities between Davis and the former fifth-rounder. Like Holcomb, Davis is hungry to do whatever he can to make an impact in his first season, and Holcomb is here to offer any advice the rookie needs.

"It felt like it was yesterday when I was that kid," Holcomb said, "It's nice having him, and I try as much as possible to bring him along, help him out, help him learn the way and help him through this process."

It did not take long for Davis to reach out to Holcomb. Prior to the start of rookie minicamp, the two had a conversation about what Davis should expect heading into the offseason. The advice he received was what he expected, but it was still vital information: start fast and hit the ground running.

Working hard is not a foreign concept to Davis; it's part of why head coach Ron Rivera and general manager Martin Mayhew drafted him with the 19th pick. And from what Holcomb has seen, Davis has lived up to the rest of the hype surrounding him as well. Davis is athletic, Holcomb said, and has the intelligence to play multiple positions.

Lately, however, Davis has been playing at middle linebacker and making the defensive calls. Holcomb is familiar with how that feels; being at that position as a rookie made him more aware of things like where he was lined up in the huddle and finding his gap that he didn't think about as much. It is a lot of basic concepts, but Holcomb knows that a bevy of different thoughts are going through Davis' head at the same time.

"We're trying to help him out and just let him focus on what he needs to focus on," Holcomb said. "We're all one group, so [Jon Bostic] and I will help get him right."

Understanding the defensive scheme can be looked at as trying to solve a puzzle, and Holcomb can help Davis by giving him clues before a play. Just knowing where Holcomb and Bostic are supposed to be can help him figure out his positioning. Holcomb also knows that Davis' mind is focused on making calls, so he tries to remind Davis when he is supposed to slide the defensive front to a certain direction.

It is certainly a lot for a young player to remember, but the good news is that Davis is a quick study.

"He's a great player and a tremendous kid," Holcomb said. "He's picking it up like a sponge, and I'm excited for what we got [in him]."

The Washington Football Team enters Week 2 of OTAs. (Photos by Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)

And defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio can vouch for how well Davis' development is coming along. There are still some things for him to work on -- Davis himself said after the first day of rookie minicamp that he needs to get better at determining when to jump routes -- but Del Rio sees a player who is "made of the right stuff." He has the position flexibility to move all around the linebacker corps, and Del Rio intends to do exactly that with the former Kentucky Wildcat.

"Much like Chase Young, he has been all business," Del Rio said. "We want him to just dig in, get to work, and understand how he fits. He's developing, learning the system and giving great effort everyday while being a good teammate. These are all positive signs when getting started."

Learning the ropes of the NFL is enough to make any rookie's head spin, even if they're as talented as Davis, but he has plenty of experienced coaches and veterans guiding him along that path. And with players like Holcomb acting as a mentor, it looks like he is in good hands.

"I had a couple vets that helped me get through my rookie year," Holcomb said. "So if I can be that for somebody, I'm okay with being it."

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