Expectations are high for Jamin Davis entering his first NFL season. Even though he only started one season for Kentucky, Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera expects big things right away from the big fella from South Georgia.
In an extensive offseason Q&A with The Washington Post, Rivera explained why the franchise had to pull the trigger to select the former Wildcat with the 19th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
“You have to have linebackers who can run,” Rivera said. “We were in Carolina, we had Luke [Kuechly] and we had Thomas Davis. What we lacked was that third guy that could run, just flat out run, because if something were to happen to Luke or Thomas, we’d be deficient at that position. The speed takes a guy from being a solid player to being an impact player, in my opinion. When we were in Carolina, we did that one year and, lo and behold, that guy [Shaq Thompson], his rookie year he becomes part of our crew and we got better.
“At that position, we were looking for a high-impact guy, and that’s who Jamin was as far as we were concerned.
In Thompson’s rookie year the linebacker recorded 50 tackles, four for loss, two pass deflections and a sack to help the Panthers finish the regular season 15-1, eventually reaching the Super Bowl. If Davis has a similar debut season for the Washington Football Team, the linebacker will care out a spot for him in the NFL for many years to come.