Despite a division title and an NFC playoff berth, the Washington Football Team enters the 2020 NFL Draft with many needs to fill throughout the roster.
With the No. 19 overall selection, there are many directions the Football Team can go, whether it be offensive tackler, wide receiver, or on the defensive side of the ball.
Defensive upgrades as a whole may not seem like a glaring need on paper, but one area that Washington struggled in last season was its coverage ability from the linebacker position. Teams are getting faster, meaning that linebackers can no longer just play the bump-and-run role at the line of scrimmage.
As the game changes, so must the position of cover backer. It just so happens that two of the draft's most intriguing prospects to fill that role are squarely on WFT's radar.
Kentucky's Jamin Davis blew up the Wildcats Pro Day with incredible measurables. Running a 4.42 40 yard dash, and jumping a 42" vertical with an 11-foot broad jump, what didn't the 6-foot-4 linebacker do?
The explosive Davis finished with 102 total tackles and three interceptions in his final season with the team, proving his skills are more enhanced than just the stereotypical thumper role.
And while still unknown to some, one expert is enamored by what he brings to the table.
"Get to know this name, because Davis is a big-time riser," NFL Analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. "When I sat down recently to watch his 2020 tape, I loved what I saw. He has tremendous range. He is physical. He can play inside or outside. He can cover and has some ball skills, including picking off three passes last season. Davis is the total package, and he could slot in at middle linebacker."
Should Washington draft based on need, rather than the best player come April 29? Typically, the answer to that question is no, but in Davis' case, he might just cover both bases.
Of course, there is always the chance that WFT could also elect to go with the offensive piece in the first round, either selecting a quarterback or an offensive tackle with pick No. 19.
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If that is the case, Washington next chance to add a cover linebacker won't come until pick No. 51 in Round 2. In that spot, the best option could be LSU standout Jabril Cox, who is coming off of a stellar senior year for the Tigers.
The 6-foot-4, 233 pound Cox is an extremely gifted athlete who thrives in both man-to-man and zone coverages, while possessing the ability to run sideline to sideline and make tackles in space.
After three excellent seasons at North Dakota State, Cox wrapped up his senior season with the Tigers, recording 58 tackles, three interceptions, and five pass deflections in a COVID-19 shortened season.
Cox did not perform at LSU's Pro Day Wednesday due to a tweaked hamstring. Most scouts have a consensus second-round grade on him entering April.
So what exactly separates these prospects? On paper, there isn't much. Both are superb athletes with talent in coverage.
However, there is one key area in which Davis and Cox each have the advantage.
While both players are dynamic athletes, Davis takes that one step further and is without a doubt one of the most intriguing physical specimens in the class. His tackling production nearly doubled that of Cox.
The knock against Davis is in his on-field discipline. Where the former Kentucky star has been known for his aggression, drawing unnecessary personal fouls, Cox plays more level-headed, especially when asked to step up in coverage.
Washington faces a difficult decision when addressing the position. No matter which direction they turn, both Davis and Cox should be on a shortlist to join the D.C. franchise this offseason.
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