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Posts tagged with "Jarrad Davis"

With the 21st overall pick, the Detroit Lions select linebacker Jarrad Davis.

The Detroit Lions needed help in a big way along their front seven on defense, and help is now on the way.The Lions selected Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis with the 21st overall pick in Thursday night’s first round of the NFL Draft.

It turns out Lions general manager Bob Quinn and his staff did a lot of homework on Davis, including a trip down to Gainesville for a private meeting and workout.

“I felt like we did a really thorough job and got a player that is really going to help us,” Quinn said. “It’s a player we targeted, it’s a player we wanted and we were fortunate to get him.”

Davis notched 60 tackles, six tackles for loss, five quarterback hurries and two sacks for the Gators last season, despite missing four of the team’s last five games, including the Outback Bowl on Jan. 2 with an ankle injury.

As a junior, Davis had 98 tackles (11 for loss), 3.5 sacks and four pass breakups playing the entire season.

After sitting out of the NFL Scouting Combine to give his injured ankle more time to heal, Davis wowed scouts, coaches and personnel people at his pro day with his testing and on-field workout.

Davis (6-1, 238) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds, had a 38.5 inch vertical and 10’9’’ broad jump at his pro day.

Quinn said Davis has position versatility, and can play both the WILL and the MIKE in Detroit’s scheme.

“He’s a passionate football player,” Quinn said. “He’s got very good playing speed. Very good tackler. Good blitzer. Good coverage player. This guy is a really well-rounded linebacker. As a freshman, he was the Special Teams Player of the Year for Florida when he was a backup linebacker. So he’s got four-down value. I think he’s a real well-rounded guy with position versatility.”

Davis said he was comfortable playing both the MIKE and WILL, but played more MIKE. It sounded like it was his position of preference.

“I played strictly MIKE all the way through my junior and senior year,” Davis said via conference call. “To play that and lead the defense and have an opportunity to make almost every play, every snap, being in the middle of the defense, it was a position I really enjoyed and really thrived on.”

Davis is a sideline-to-sideline run defender with explosive closing speed, and should be a three-down player in Teryl Austin’s defense.

The Lions signed veteran linebackers Paul Worrilow and Nike Bellore in free agency this offseason, but Quinn knew he had to add young talent to that group at some point early in this draft.

“It’s a position where I really think you need a guy in the middle of your defense that can be looked upon to call the defense, hopefully become a leader in time, and really be that gel between the secondary and defensive line,” Quinn said. “It was a position of need, for sure.”

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The Detroit Lions have had a great offseason so far improving their offensive line to help Matthew Stafford. The Lions now need to focus on the draft and solidifying the defensive side of the ball.

The Lions did not have a solid defense last season. They finished 18th in total yards given up per game (354.8). It’s time to focus on the defense and that can start with the 2017 draft. If one of these three players remain at No. 21, The Detroit Lions will select one of them.

1. MARLON HUMPHREY CB ALABAMA

Detroit needs help in the secondary immediately. They gave up 248.4 pass yards per game last season, which was good enough for 19th in the league.

Darius Slay is already CB1 in Detroit, but the Lions need a solid CB2 to help him out on the other side. That’s where Marlon Humphrey could fit in.

In 2015, Humphrey started all 15 games for Alabama and earned All-SEC consideration. He recorded 45 tackles, 3 INTs and eight PD’s. In 2016 he had 26 tackles, two interceptions (one for a TD), and added five PD’s. He is a very physical CB that will attempt to strip the ball away at times (Three forced fumbles in 2016).

 Humphrey is very athletic but sometimes has problems covering the deep ball, allowing 19 yards per completion in games he started. That issue could cause him to fall to the Lions.

If the Lions are looking to add depth to their secondary, which they should, Humphrey would be a great fit.

2. JARRAD DAVIS LB FLORIDA

With the release of DeAndre Levy, the Lions will look to add another linebacker through the draft. Jarrad Davis would be a good start if he is available at No. 21.

During his junior year at Florida, Davis recorded 94 tackles (11 for loss), 3.5 sacks and one interception. He has great acceleration which is a huge factor during the blitz. He also has the ability to step back into coverage when needed (8 PD’s over the last two seasons). Davis has the ability to finish his tackles and eliminate the big play. He had 50 solo tackles in 2015. Davis was limited to only nine games last season due to injury but still impressed with 60 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks.

Davis at times will have trouble coming off blocks and needs to learn to take better routes to the ball. Those issues may cause him to fall to No. 21 and if he does the Lions should snag him up.

3. T.J. WATT DE WISCONSIN

There are about to be three Watt brothers in the NFL after this week. That’s terrifying considering T.J. Watt could be another defensive threat. The Lions need to improve their defensive line and Watt could help.

Watt was finally healthy in 2016 and he made his presence known. He recorded 63 tackles, 38 solo tackles, 11.5 sacks, one interception and one forced fumble. Watt received second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honors.

 Watt has quick hands and tries to keep blockers off balance. He had great numbers against the rush and pass in one season. The Lions gave up 106.3 rushing yards per game last season which was good enough for 18th in the league. That needs to improve and Watt would be a great addition opposite of Ezekiel Ansah.

He doesn’t have the best foot quickness and will have to rely more on his hands to win in the trenches. That could cause him to fall in the draft.

According to his draft profile, many experts have Watt going in the second round. Don’t be surprised if the Lions draft him at No. 21 because of their defensive needs.

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ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have three linebackers scheduled to hit free agency: Malcolm Smith, Perry Riley Jr. and Daren Bates. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay apparently took notice.

Would Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis make sense in the Raiders’ base defense? Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire

In his Mock Draft 2.0, McShay went with Florida outside linebacker Jarrad Davis for the Raiders at No. 24 overall.

Is that overkill, what with the Raiders already having NFL defensive player of the year Khalil Mack, who also puts a hand in the dirt as a defensive end, Bruce Irvin and Shilique Calhoun, plus Aldon Smith in line to be reinstated after missing the 2016 season while under suspension?

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