5 things to know about Washington first-round pick Jamin Davis

/ by Ryan Homler
Presented By Ourisman Automotive of Virginia

The Washington Football Team has its newest member in linebacker Jamin Davis, as the team selected the Kentucky prospect with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Davis is a name that had been linked to Washington in mock drafts down the stretch, but he's also a player that wasn't always on Washington -- or anyone else's radar prior to the 2020 season.

With a new face on the defense, here are five things to know about the first-round pick:

1. His draft stock went way UP in 2020

How did Davis get himself to be a first-round pick? A majority of it came within the most recent season of college football.

Though Davis was viewed as a Top-50 outside linebacker in his high school class, it took time for him to develop at the next level. Redshirting freshman year and earning just one start in the following two seasons made it hard for anyone to have tape on him or recognize his talent and potential.

Davis finally got his opportunity in 2020 to be the guy in the middle of the defense. He led the team with 102 tackles in 10 games while also recording three interceptions. He was the only player in FBS to record at least 100 tackles and three interceptions.

A 4.47 40-yard dash and a 42-inch vertical at his Pro Day helped him gain more attention as well, as it became clear that there was something special about him. 

Showing explosiveness, sure-handed tackling and strong coverage, Davis went from an overlooked product to someone that was shooting up the draft boards. That eventually led him to Washington.


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2. He's more than just a tackler

While Davis dominated the stat sheet with tackles in 2020, there is a lot more to his game. With a strong frame in his 6'3" body, a strong vertical and impressive speed for his size, Davis can rush the passer and man the middle of the field. His biggest strength is as a run-stopper.

Yet, he is also capable of dropping back in pass coverage and defending the slot. His frame and speed allow him to keep up with tight ends and some receivers and solid hands make him a threat to force a turnover every once in a while. 

A prime example of how athletic he is: this 85-yard interceptions return he had during the 2020 season. This sure doesn't look like the traditional linebacker sprinting down the field.

Washington was in need of a defense that could play in all levels of the defense with an aggressive tendency. Davis delivers just that and he'll be a versatile addition to the unit.

3. His nickname is "Shadow"

According to the Kentucky Athletics site, Davis noted that his nickname was "Shadow." Davis explained that during his younger days he would constantly race a good friend of his by who went by "Sonic." Davis then earned his nickname as "Shadow" is another character in the Sonic video game series. 

Having a duo like 'The Predator" and "Shadow" with him and Chase Young is just incredibly awesome.

4. He's from a military family

Davis was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but moved around the country at a young age as he grew up in a military family. The linebacker eventually settled in Georgia where he made a name for himself on the football field.

This is an interesting connection to Washington given the deep ties to the military that Rivera has. Rivera, who grew up in a military family as well,  has a deep appreciation for all those who have served and continues to give back to that community whenever he can. He also credits that experience in his life as something that helped mold him into who he is today.

5. He considers himself dependable

Just another fun fact from his Kentucky bio. It's always good to have that type of player on the roster.