GREEN BAY, Wis. – The NFL is a copycat league. The Green Bay Packers have good reason to copy the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers: After all, the Bucs beat the Packers twice, including at Lambeau Field with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. In both games, Tampa Bay’s inside linebacker tandem of Devin White and Lavonte David were hard to handle.
In her third mock draft, SI.com’s Jenny Vrentas went with Kentucky’s potential-packed linebacker, Jamin Davis.
“The team that the Packers lost to in the NFC Championship Game offered a reminder of what they have long been missing: playmaking off-ball linebackers in the middle of their defense,” Vrentas wrote. “The speedy and rangy Davis has the potential to be that player for the Packers. As for Aaron Rodgers’s preferences, this year’s receiver class is deep enough to justify the team’s pattern of addressing that position in the second or third round.”
The Kentucky standout is one of the top linebacker prospects in this month’s NFL Draft due in part to his outrageous athleticism. He ranks 12th in the entire draft class, and second among linebackers, in Relative Athletic Score. With a 4.47 clocking in the 40-yard dash and a 42-inch vertical, Davis has cornerback-style testing numbers.
Davis’ rise in the eyes of scouts was fast, too. He arrived in Lexington in 2017 tipping the scales at all of 190 pounds. He redshirted in 2017 and was a reserve in 2018 and 2019. He might have been a backup in 2020, too, but starter Chris Oats suffered a stroke. Davis took advantage to tally 102 tackles and three interceptions in 10 games.
In her mock, the top five cornerbacks and top four offensive tackles were off the board. Available were the second tier of receivers: LSU’s Terrace Marshall Jr., Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman and Florida slot Kadarius Toney.
In his SI.com mock draft, Conor Orr went with a linebacker, as well. Instead of Davis, he went to Notre Dame.