Throughout the offseason, we’ll be profiling players who may end up in Denver when all is said and done with the 2017 NFL Draft. The Broncos clearly have plenty of holes to fill before they get back to Super-Bowl form and we’ll be examining a long list of players they may choose to help the franchise do just that.
When it comes to a person and a football player, there isn’t much not to like about Jarrad Davis. As a football player, Davis simply gets the job done at a very high level. As a person, teammates and coaches can’t rave enough about his high quality character both on and off of the field. While he’s a great person off the field, he brings the nasty attitude that’s looked for in the leader in the middle of a defense.
During his four-year career at Florida, Davis was named the MVP on special teams his freshman season and second-team all-SEC his senior season, even though he missed three games due to injury. Davis is currently projected to be a second-round pick.
At 6-foot-1, 238 pounds, Davis has the physical tools to play at a high level in the NFL. He has the physique, strength and athleticism to do everything that is needed from a linebacker and that will only get better when he enters into a NFL strength program. Davis is fast enough to cover tight ends and running backs in the pass game and strong enough to stand up to offensive lineman in the run game. He is a big hitter that looks for contact on every play.
Davis is also elusive enough to provide pass rush from the middle of the defense and can slide by offensive lineman to get to the backfield. His senior season he complied 11 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. If Davis gets his hands on the ballcarrier it’s all but over as he translates sound technique into effective tackling. Davis sees the field well and uses his vision to keep plays in front of him.
Finally, he’s a natural leader that will take on a significant leadership role both on and off the field in a short time.
“Football is not all I have, but I treat it like it’s all I have,” Davis said at the combine. “I treat it like it’s everything, and I feel like that separates me from a lot of guys. The way I approach the game and the way I approach my work, I feel like I separate myself from a lot of people with the way I think.”
While Davis has all of the physical and mental skills to succeed at a high-level, he still needs to improve in a few specific areas. First, Davis can misdiagnose plays right when the ball is snapped leading to a wrong first step, specifically on play action and misdirection plays. Since he looks for contact on every play, Davis sometimes attacks blockers instead of attacking the actual ball carrier.
Once Davis get tied up with a blocker it is difficult for him to disengage. He will need to improve his hand work to shred potential blockers quicker. Finally, Davis needs to work on his tackling angles, specifically when a play goes to the outside.
Davis also has an injury history that may make teams shy away from him.
How he fits in Denver
Davis would be an ideal middle linebacker in the Broncos’ 3-4 defensive scheme. If Davis were to fall to Denver in the second round he would likely be an immediate starter alongside Brandon Marshall. Davis’s attitude would give a boost to Denver’s run defense as he’s not afraid to clog the offensive line and play in the trenches.
If the Broncos draft Davis, the biggest concern won’t be whether he can play at the next level, it will be if he can stay healthy enough to play.