Now I am not the smartest guy, but if you had asked me a moment ago if the LA Rams would have a chance to draft Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis in the second round this year, I would have said “Yes, definiteily. I’m not the smartest guy though, by the way.”
Davis is not somebody who regularly came across my radar this year for the top linebacker prospects in the draft. Not nearly as often as Micah Parson, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, or Zaven Collins. But now Davis is being thought of as arguably the top linebacker in the draft and he could go dozens of picks ahead of LA at 57.
That is in part due to his incredible pro day — although, “incredible pro days” are also incredibly more common these days. Aren’t they? I’m not smart though. Just my dumb brain happening to notice that there’s a lot of unexpected times happening at these pro days and we don’t have a standardized combine test this year.
Not that I am questioning Davis’ measurements, which included a 4.37 40-yard dash at 6’3, 234 lbs. Davis also had a 42” vertical and a 11’ broad jump and he could now go in the top-20 picks. Mel Kiper has ranked him 14th overall on his big board.
Stop sleeping on Kentucky LB Jamin Davis pic.twitter.com/CnmP5dOewT— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 31, 2021
In his scouting report for Davis, Ferragamo15 noted the following and this was well before Davis began to shoot up draft boards as a top-20 pick. At the time, Davis was projected anywhere from late-1st to day three:
It is amazing that we’re even talking about Davis as a potential early round draft pick. Prior to this season, Kentucky football fans were very excited about their defense. They had an experienced group returning and thought they were loaded. Davis’s name almost never came up when fans talked about the defense. He wasn’t supposed to be one of the core players. Fans were more excited about DeAndre Square, the WILL linebacker.
Prior to 2020, Davis did not get much playing time and had only started one game in his career. The only reason he got that start was because other LBs were not available. Square was injured. Another LB, Chris Oats, was suspended for a violation of team rules. A 3rd LB didn’t play half of the game for an undisclosed reason. With the top 3 LBs for the team not playing, Davis had to play more.
And noted that he stayed in step with Kyle Pitts:
Pitts of Florida, the great TE, gets him wrong footed as the LB steps inside way too early in pass coverage. But, Davis flips his hips, turns back around and runs with Pitts, making an outstanding recovery and limiting the separation. Davis might be a wild untamed stallion at times, not knowing what he’s doing, but he’s a good athlete.
What should we make of Jamin Davis at this point? What can we make of any of the linebacker prospects given the extreme volatility of the rankings?