Key & Diagnose
This series will focus on the fantasy outlook of IDP players from the 2021 draft class. We will key in on what happened in their rookie seasons and diagnose what to expect going into their 2nd season. There are a few things that I look for when trying to identify breakout fantasy players. Youth, talent, and an increased role. Second year players with high draft capital usually experience an increase in playing time and production. These players have had a year to adjust to the NFL, and their teams feel more confident playing them in major roles. A player that fits this model is Washington Football Team Linebacker Jamin Davis.
Linebacker Jamin Davis
Jamin Davis was a late bloomer coming out of college. Davis only started 11 career games while at the University of Kentucky. 10 of those starts came in his redshirt junior season where he amassed 102 total tackles and 3 interceptions in his final year of college. Davis surged up draft boards after his impressive pro day (4.39) 40-yard dash and 42-inch vertical jump. Washington drafted Davis in the 1st round to fill a huge need at Linebacker.
Davis didn’t make much of a fantasy impact in his rookie season. His inexperience at the collegiate level likely led to his struggles as a rookie. According to reports, Davis had issues with play calling and understanding defensive assignments. Tackling also was an area of concern for Davis as he posted an unimpressive 12.6% missed tackle rate. With Davis unable to handle “MIKE” LB duties, the team gave play calling duties to 3rd year LB Cole Holcomb. Holcomb wound up setting career highs in snap rate(99%), tackles(142), and interceptions(3). With Holcomb playing the “MIKE,” Davis was moved to OLB where he was in and out of the starting lineup. Davis ended the season with 76 combined tackles and 1 sack while playing on only 59% of the team’s defensive snaps.
Jamin Davis should have every opportunity to become a breakout player next season. For one, his 1st round draft capital will put an onus on the coaching staff to increase his role going into year 2. Another factor working in Davis’ favor is the current depth chart. No Linebackers on the current roster profile as 3 down players other than Davis and Cole Holcomb. It’s notable that Head coach Ron Rivera raved about Davis’ coverage abilities during his end of season press conference. Rivera stated that they prefer Davis at OLB because of his ability to cover Tight Ends and Running Backs. Since Davis isn’t a liability in coverage, it’s likely that he’ll be playing in an every down role next season. Which as you know, is ideal for IDP purposes.
Considering all the factors working in his favor, it’s hard not to see the upside for Jamin Davis. He’s a gifted athlete with high draft capital and he’s projected to be a full-time starter next season. I’m expecting Davis to improve on the issues that plagued him during his rookie season. His Head coach Ron Rivera was a former NFL Linebacker and he should be able to maximize Davis’ talents in year 2. Based on his projected opportunity, I’m treating Davis as an LB2 with LB1 upside. Don’t sleep on Jamin Davis in your IDP drafts.
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