Under first-year head coach Ron Rivera, the Washington Football Team won the NFC East despite finishing 7-9 and having all kinds of offensive issues. Under seasoned assistant coach Jack Del Rio, WFT’s defense finished third in Football Outsiders’ advanced DVOA metrics. This unit was one of the best in football and has a budding young cornerstone piece after Chase Young made the Pro Bowl as a rookie.
WFT signed veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick in the offseason to take over at quarterback, so this feels like a team that is ready to make a run in a rebuilding NFC East. To improve the best part of their team, the franchise decided to focus on defense with their first selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis is walking into a terrific situation.
Under Del Rio, WFT will utilize a 4-3 scheme that has adjusted to the modern game. At the Sam linebacker spot, the defense will call for a hybrid safety player more times than not. Therefore, that leaves two three-down players needed to fill the traditional linebacker spots at both Mike and Will.
Last season, former fifth-round pick Cole Holcomb turned into a very effective player in his second season. The young player received a very strong 72.0 grade from PFF while recording 72 tackles and starting 25 combined games in his first two seasons. At Mike, veteran Jon Bostic returns for his eighth season after recording 118 tackles in 2020. However, the former Florida star is entering the last year of his contract and will play this season at 30 years old. PFF had Bostic at just a 55 grade last year.
Jamin Davis’ contract with the #WFT should be:
?? 4 years, $13.8M contract
?? Fully guaranteed
?? $7.4M signing bonus
?? $2.5M 2021 cap hit
?? 5th-year option availablehttps://t.co/UzNhEo8YuP
— Spotrac (@spotrac) April 30, 2021
On a fully guaranteed salary, Davis is going to enter a solid situation in 2021. Holcomb seems to have a Will spot locked down and is a proven piece for the defense. However, the former North Carolina player could also play Mike. The franchise would most likely prefer to move on from Bostic after the season. However, there won’t be a huge rush to replace him. The Kentucky linebacker will have time to grow and won’t be pigeonholed into one position. The South Georgia native could have a chance to play both inside ‘backer positions in D.C.
“Kid’s got a tremendous background, the kind of background that I look for,” Rivera told the media. “Very smart, intelligent young man. Plays the game at the right tempo, he understands what they [Kentucky] do and that will translate very well into how we do things. He’s the kind of fit that in terms of position flex, he can play all of our linebacking positions. He’s got that kind of athletic ability. He’s what you look for in a football player.”
When taking a look at the rest of the defense, there are dudes everywhere. The four-down front takes a lot of pressure off the rest of the unit. Young is a stud, Jonathan Allen is a tank at defensive tackle, Montez Sweat is another top-notch pass rusher. There won’t be much pressure on the linebackers.
Davis is going to be stepping into a situation where the defense will just call for the defensive player to read and react. The prospect who just recorded 102 tackles will be able to run sideline-to-sideline to make plays. Due to the effectiveness of the defensive front’s pass rush, Davis will be able to drop into coverages and use his speed to eliminate holes in zone drops. This all feels like a tailor-made fit for the fast riser.
Davis hit a home run as a redshirt junior by turning in an epic season. Now the former mid three-star recruit is rewarded by a great draft scenario. Davis is joining a franchise that has a proven coordinator and big-time players surrounding him. This will allow the young rookie linebacker to play to his strengths.
Expect Davis to record a lot of tackles while playing for one of the best defenses in the NFL as he starts his professional journey.