Washington was looking at taking a potential quarterback of the future with their first-round pick in the spring’s draft. But with five off the board by the time the Football Team came on the clock, linebacker Jamin Davis was the pick at No. 19 overall.
Though he was only a one-year starter at Kentucky, Davis is expected to step in and fill a significant role on the club’s defense immediately. Head coach Ron Rivera cited players he had in his time with the Panthers as examples for why Davis should be a solid fit.
“You have to have linebackers who can run,” Rivera said, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post. “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.”
Washington’s defense carried the team to the postseason last year, winning the NFC East at 7-9. Last season’s defensive rookie of the year, Chase Young, recently said he feels the Football Team could have the league’s best defense. If Davis develops quickly, that will give Washington an even better chance at making that happen.