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The 2021 NFL Draft includes quality off-ball linebackers across the board. We could see several of them taken in the first round come April 29. Will Kentucky’s Jamin Davis be among them? Based off his Pro Day performance, it’s possible.
First off, Davis checked in at 6-foot-3, 234 pounds. His frame looks a little thin, but in today’s NFL, that’s enough size to hold up on a down-to-down basis. It was his athletic profile that took his performance to another level though.
According to a tweet from Pro Football Focus, he ran a 4.37 40-yard dash and had a 42-inch vertical and 11-foot broad jump. Folks, that’s as good as it gets. In fact, those would be elite numbers for a cornerback, wide receiver or safety.
Stop sleeping on Kentucky LB Jamin Davis 🔥 pic.twitter.com/CnmP5dOewT
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 31, 2021
To be fair, Daniel Jeremiah with the NFL Network got information from a scout saying that he had Davis timed at a 4.49. The other two numbers are indisputable however, and a 4.49 is still elite for an off-ball linebacker.
It’s not just numbers for Davis either.
He was a rotational depth piece for a couple of seasons in Lexington but then broke out in 2020. Last year, he started all 10 of Kentucky’s games, racking up 102 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and three interceptions. One of those interceptions went for a touchdown too.
Despite his thin frame, there’s a place for Davis in the NFL. The only question is whether he can work his way into first round consideration. Here are some of the other off-ball linebackers he will be battling for that chance:
- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
- Micah Parsons, Penn State
- Zaven Collins, Tulsa
- Nick Bolton, Missouri
Can Davis force his way into the mix? With numbers like that, sure. But it’s not a guarantee.
The more likely scenario is that the former Wildcat will be taken sometime in the second round. If that happens, he’ll almost certainly provide value. He should be an immediate impact player on special teams and can either play MIKE or WILL in a 4-3 defense.
Even if he’s not a first round guy, Davis will get taken a lot sooner than most realize.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.