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The Washington Football continued to fill its defense with young talent by selecting Jamin Davis with the 19th overall pick, and draft experts approve of the move.
The former Kentucky linebacker was Washington's highest-graded defensive player, and head coach Ron Rivera is confident the team made the right decision because of Davis' football acumen and stellar character traits. Washington sees Davis as a player who exemplifies position flexibility, as he can play all three linebacker positions, and the right piece to put behind its stout defensive front.
Here's how the draft pundits graded the move:
Analysis: "Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis is the type of prospect scouts dream about when they evaluate the position. Davis' athletic traits are nearly off the charts.
"First, he's built exactly how the position should look with a chiseled 6'4", 234-pound frame. At Kentucky's Pro Day, the linebacker's 40-yard-dash times ranged from 4.37 seconds to 4.49, according to reports. Either way, he can fly. To further prove that point, he posted an outstanding 42-inch vertical jump and 11-foot broad jump.
"The workout numbers show how explosive Davis is. It falls on his next position coach to fully realize his potential."
Analysis: "This is one of my favorite picks of the draft. He will be a special player on a talented front seven."
Analysis: "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."
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."
Analysis: "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."
Analysis: "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 East."
Analysis: "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."
Analysis: "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."
Analysis: "Davis should be a tackling machine for WFT."
Analysis: "Davis is one of the best tacklers in this draft and saw his stock rise more than just about anyone since the beginning of the 2020 college football season.
"He was projected to be a fourth- or fifth-round pick in October, and his impressive performance for the Wildcats vaulted him into the first round.
"Davis is super athletic and will make an already strong Washington defense even more formidable. Him and Chase Young should be a lot of fun to watch."
Analysis: "Davis is a good player, and he fills a huge need."
Analysis: "Linebacker was a popular pick for Washington here, and with good reason. This defense is already loaded with talent, but they needed a versatile playmaker at the second level. Davis has all the traits to be that player. Top 20 might feel a little early for him, but he's a better fit for what Washington needs than Notre Dame's Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah."