Kentucky defensive standouts Jamin Davis and Kelvin Joseph are solidifying themselves as early selections in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. In fact, one of the most well-respected draft gurus in the game, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, sees the former Wildcats as top-50 draft prospects.
In the second edition of his official 2021 NFL Draft prospect rankings, both Davis and Joseph were ranked inside the top 45, with the former coming in at No. 35 overall and the latter coming in at No. 42 overall.
Here is what Jeremiah had to say about the former Wildcat duo:
35. Jamin Davis – Kentucky
Davis is a tall and lanky off-the-ball linebacker. He has excellent eyes to key, read, fill and finish. He uses his quickness to beat blockers to spots. He is much better working around blocks than taking them on, but he has outstanding lateral range, and his eyes give him a jump start. He has stopping power as a tackler in the hole, and he really excels against the pass. He has shown the ability to carry TEs down the seam as well as mirror RBs on wheel routes (SEE: Vanderbilt game). He is instinctive as a zone dropper, picking off three passes in 2020, including an 85-yard pick-six versus Tennessee. I wish he was allowed to blitz more often, because he has the traits to excel in that department. Overall, Davis lacks some strength to bang versus blockers, but his speed and playmaking ability jump off the screen. He should be a Day 1, three-down impact player at the next level.
42. Kelvin Joseph – Kentucky
Joseph is tall, fluid cornerback with excellent ball skills. His tape is very inconsistent, but it’s easy to get excited about his upside. In press coverage, he flashes a physical jam and is very loose to open up and mirror. He has plenty of juice to carry vertical routes, and he can find and play the ball. In off coverage, he doesn’t waste steps before driving on the ball, taking good pursuit angles. If you want to like him, avoid the Florida game. Kyle Pitts turned him inside/out several times, resulting in big plays. Joseph was much better the rest of the season, however. He is aggressive versus the run, and he’s a reliable wrap/drag tackler. Overall, Joseph is still a work in progress, and teams need to do their homework on why he left LSU. However, he possesses tremendous upside and could eventually develop into an elite player at the next level.
This update comes after fellow draft analyst Matt Miller of The Draft Scout included both Joseph and Davis in the first round of his updated draft board last week, with the standout corner coming off the board first at No. 23 overall to the New York Jets and the star linebacker taken No. 26 overall by the Cleveland Browns. Miller previously had Davis (No. 36) and Joseph (No. 45) firmly in the second round.
Beyond the standout defensive duo, Pro Football Focus also included five total former Wildcats in the outlet’s Top 300 Big Board, with Drake Jackson (No. 142), Quinton Bohanna (No. 221) and Boogie Watson (No. 281) joining Davis (No. 85) and Joseph (No. 108).
The numbers are all over the place depending on where you look, but one thing that remains clear is that Davis and Joseph are seeing their respective stocks spike as we inch closer to the NFL Draft.