Commanders LB Jamin Davis making strong second impression

Washington Commanders, Jamin Davis (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Washington Commanders, Jamin Davis (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Washington Commanders used their first-round pick (19th overall) in the 2021 NFL Draft on linebacker Jamin Davis. There was immediate hype. He was a great size (6’3″, 234 lbs), with elite speed. The physicals were there. And the College tape showed plenty of potential.

Davis didn’t exactly live up to the billing in his rookie season though. He missed some tackles, looked lost at times, didn’t fill holes, and just simply seemed out-matched. There was a glimmer of hope though. At the end of the year, Davis put together a couple of nice games.

His last three games included a 10-tackle performance, his first-career sack, and an eight-tackle game (with one coming for a loss). So while fans were definitely down on him heading into year two, he had a stretch to look at and say “there’s something there”.

The Commanders took on the Carolina Panthers in their first matchup of the 2022 preseason. Admittedly, Davis didn’t get all that much playing time. Importantly though, he didn’t look lost on the field. Did he do anything special? No. But he didn’t make any glaring mistakes either. This is a positive but it’s not something that’s going to get fans excited. A player doing what they are supposed to is technically great. Without major highlights though, don’t expect fans to suddenly switch gears on him.

Then came the bigger news though. Jamin Davis is getting talked about in practice. Last season, we didn’t hear much about the rookie. It seemed like the coaching staff was scared to talk about him, maybe because they didn’t have a lot of good things to say.

This year, however, we’ve heard his name quite a few times. And on Tuesday, John Keim of ESPN had a couple of tweets about the linebacker.

Here’s something you already knew; the NFL is hard. Jamin Davis came into the league as a gifted athlete. That helped him succeed in college. But everyone knew he needed to be molded into a player.

According to everything we’re hearing, that’s starting to happen. It sounds like Davis has worked extremely hard. And it’s paying off. He’s getting praise from coaches, media, and teammates. He’s figured out how the defense runs, making plays, and impressing everyone.

What happens when you mix a physical creature with an understanding of assignments and fundamentals? You get a generational talent. I’m not saying we’re suddenly going to get Lawrence Taylor. But Davis has the potential to be special, and it sounds like he’s starting to put it all together.

The biggest weakness of the Washington Commanders last season was the play of their linebackers. Is it possible that they could be getting a breakout year from Jamin Davis to fix that very issue?