The NFL draft begins on April 27th in Philadelphia and the Redskins have the No. 17 selection in the first round. This is the 11th in a series of stories analyzing 15 players who could be a good fit for Washington at that position.
How he fits: A first-year starter at linebacker for Florida as a junior, Davis had 98 tackles and 11 of those for a loss. He can run all over the field and could play right away at weakside linebacker. An able, at times explosive, tackler, Davis would help any team’s run defense. But he’s spry enough to cover tight ends and running backs – even if he needs more experience in that role. Davis had 4 pass breakups in 2016. He also had 3.5 sacks as a junior and can close hard against mobile quarterbacks. That’s certainly a skillset the Redskins need. Credited as a strong leader, too, in Gainesville.
Questions: A severe high ankle sprain late in the season cost him three games and most of a fourth. Davis didn’t need surgery, but it did keep him off the field in some critical games. He also missed the final three games of the 2015 campaign. Those injuries could concern some clubs and let him fall a bit further than he normally would. Might be a better fit in a 4-3 scheme. Davis didn’t play much 3-4 at Florida, although the Redskins probably don’t care. They need athletes who can move and tackle and Davis fits the bill there. He can figure the rest out on the fly.
Davis’ take: “You’re not gonna be able to go out and just cover a receiver or a tight end, especially in the NFL. You’ve gotta work on that, work on that, work on that and constantly beat yourself up about everything you do because it has to be perfect.
“Any misstep—the quarterbacks in college were pretty good, but the quarterbacks in the league are putting balls in tight windows. You’ve gotta be able to close those windows.”
What they’re saying:
Bucky Brooks, NFL Network
“The guy is a play-maker. Davis has some thump to him in terms of his toughness. He can roam sideline to sideline, make plays.”
Follow Redskins reporter Brian McNally Twitter