Freaky Athlete At Linebacker

April 27th, 2021

Kentucky LB Jamin Davis.

Joe has been on record suggesting if the Bucs somehow land Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton, Joe would be a happy man and confidently nurse a can of Big Storm beer in quiet satisfaction Thursday night.

It seems that Jenna Laine of ESPN may have the same idea Joe has about a linebacker.

And like Joe, Laine is eyeing an SEC linebacker. However, Laine is looking at a different team. Rather than Bolton, Laine thinks Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis could be jammin’ in Tampa this fall.

The big thing about Davis, Laine types, is the guy is a freakish athlete with massive speed.

Jamin Davis, ILB, Kentucky. Davis has been linked to the Bucs in a lot of mock drafts, but that was before they re-signed David in free agency, which may de-prioritize the position. Still, it’s hard to overlook the scary numbers Davis put up at his Kentucky pro day, posting a blistering 4.37 40-yard dash, a 42-inch vertical and an 11-inch broad jump. He had only one start in 13 games in 2019, but in 2020, he exploded with 96 tackles — second-most in the SEC — three interceptions, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Right now, a number of mock drafts have him projected to go in the middle of the first or the second round.

Joe can just read the comments now. “Wait a minute Joe. You keep saying you want the Bucs to draft a guy who can play on Sundays. How is the guy going to get on the field with Lavonte David and Devin White playing?”

Well, Joe is confident if Davis isn’t put in a rotation of some sort, he will log snaps to enable David and White to take less. And in a 17-game season (the first of its kind in the NFL), Joe strongly believes that will pay off in January and February.

Last year Bucs reserves logged a lot of snaps. Joe does not believe it was a coincidence that the Bucs’ defense played lights out in the final three games of the season, ending with a Super Bowl win.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic in his “Beast” draft guide has Davis as his fourth-best linebacker, right above Bolton at No. 5.

STRENGTHS: Exciting height/weight/speed athlete…plus lateral range and closes the gap on the perimeter…impressive closing burst to hijack the ball carrier before he can set up his move…quick to key downhill and shoot gaps…long arms and a strong, physical punch to work off climbing blockers and finish tackles…balanced, loose movements to pattern match tight ends in coverage…reads the eyes of the quarterback and has a knack for finding passing lanes…soft hands to intercept passes and become an athlete (he had two pick-sixes last season, including a 96-yard winning touchdown in overtime versus Tulane)…more of a rusher than blitzer off the edge…humble kid and an “unbelievable teammate and leader,” according to Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery…two blocked kicks in his career…rarely left the field and filled the stat sheet, averaging 7.4 tackles per game the last three seasons.

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Tulsa, Collins lined up at weakside linebacker in defensive coordinator Joseph Gillespie’s 3-3-5 base scheme, playing to the boundary side of the formation. A quarterback and safety in high school, he flourished at linebacker the last three seasons with 244 tackles and 30 tackles for loss, including numerous impact plays last season (four interceptions, two touchdowns, one safety, one forced fumble). A large-framed, long defender, Collins is an ultrasmooth mover in coverage with the awareness that leads him to the football. He needs to improve his run fits and take-on technique, but he has the power in his hands to dispose of blockers in the hole and find the ball carrier, also flashing untapped pass rush skills. Overall, Collins isn’t overly explosive, but he has a unique blend of size, range and instincts for the position with the scheme-versatility to be a starting strongside linebacker in a 3-4 or inside/outside backer in a 4-3.

Joe’s good friend Emory Hunt, the Czar of the Playbook, is way down on Davis and has him listed as No. 14 linebacker in Hunt’s Football Gameplan Draft Guide.

– Top notch athleticism for the position. He’s got the fluidity to be an asset in zone coverage, as well as man. Uses his length to shrink passing windows and has good hands to make QBs pay.
– He’s a long, taller backer who is able to play with really good leverage when it comes to making tackles. Able to get low & uncork into the ball carrier.

Areas of Improvement:
– Needs to get a bit more stout when at the LOS. He’s listed at 234, but at the LOS it could seem like he’s 219. Will have to continue to fill out his frame.
– One thing that could help him at the LOS/POA is much better hand usage. He’s not as active/violent with his hands as he should be, when he’s trying to disengage.

Let’s be honest here. Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht has a good track record selecting linebackers. So if Licht picks this Davis or Bolton, Joe trusts Licht and trusts Bowles to coach the guy up.

32 Responses to “Freaky Athlete At Linebacker”

  1. JGhotier Says:

    I want an ILB at some point in this draft too, but I think you can get Pete Werner at a much better value in a later round as an option. He bested all of Bolton’s Pro Day/Combine numbers showing his athleticism in the process. He’s super cerebral, super smooth and fluid in coverage already, productive on a defense w/ much better players to compete w/ at Ohio State, has a physical no-nonsense approach, has speed, 40 inch vertical at 6’2”/240lbs and he held one of the nations best TE’s in Freiermuth to 3 receptions and 40 something yards pretty much doing a David on Travis Kelce SB blanket job.

    Also would be a great Special Teams player. He’s better value, tape is great, more athletic w/ better size (over Bolton as Joe wants w/ a FIRST round pick) and it leaves your top draft picks to explore other options and yet you still get a great backup at ILB/ST player in the meantime, but would be just as ready to fill in adequately if needed.

    Also, just gotta plug this guy in….why is Tamorrion Terry not getting talked about more?! He has speed for days and the size we like at receiver w/ this current regime. The production doesn’t show because he has QB’s like Hornibrook and James Blackman throwing him the ball, w/ a crappy O-Line and an awful team around him (FSU fan here saying that). Turn on his 2019 tape. He’s a unicorn physically and athletically and would be a later round steal.

    (Needs to develop his route tree a lot though)

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Stick with DLine/OLB and OLine with our top picks, UNLESS a great CB or QB prospect falls to us at #32. The game is won in the trenches and we need the depth.

  3. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    “with massive speed” sounds like a Buc guy to Jaymiss. I endorse this message!

  4. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    “SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Tulsa, Collins lined up at weakside linebacker…” wait a minute. We talkin bout Davis or Collins in this here article? Jaymiss is confused now and I have to unendorse this message.

  5. Brit Buc Says:

    Sorry joe but Dane needs to proofread his summary as he’s referring to Collins from Tulsa not Davis. Still think it needs to be edge or Dl in round 1 possibly either of the guys from Washington. Think of us poor Brits staying up until 04.00 just to watch things live. Go Bucs

  6. SB~LV Says:

    Great LB name!
    I’ve seen him mocked consistently before 32
    Mock drafts , I don’t know why so many folks get their panties in a wad over mock drafts. I never thought they were meant to be actual predictions more like appropriate slotting and matches with teams needs and wants. I love them but don’t take them seriously at all .
    1st mini rant of the day 🥸

  7. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Doubt he’s there at 32 but would be a steal there!

  8. ModHairKen Says:

    LB is a need position. Minter is a great teammate and fills in nicely. But he and David are wrapping up their careers. Jamin would be a great pick.

  9. Cobraboy Says:

    At his weight he seems to be a ‘tweener, too small for a LB, too big for a S.

    Freak speed. Wow.

  10. Mitch Says:

    I am not sold on Jamin Davis. I would much rather have Ojulari, Bolton, or Collins.

  11. geno711 Says:

    Do not mind a defensive line guy at 32 but really think this class of defensive lineman especially defensive tackles is weak. Rather take one at 96.

    The cornerback class is elite. The 2nd tier cornerbacks are way higher tier, IMO, then the 2nd tier of defensive tackles.

    The same with the OL. The 2nd tier of OL is way better than the 2nd tier of defensive tackles.

    Fans continue to underrate cornerback value in this league.

  12. Medicated Pete Says:

    Image this guy learning under #54 & #45 Sheesh!!!

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    @Geno711: CB is critical…especially if your pass rush is downscale…

    The problem with guessing draft cho8ices at #32 is we have no clue how the team ranks players.

    Top 10-15, we have a better idea.

    The fact mocks are all over the board for the #32 selection shows nobody has any idea.

  14. Locked In Says:

    Did she say an 11-inch broad jump? That doesn’t sound very good.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This guy would be a terror on ST……while he’s subbing for LVD & White. We can use some good ST players in this draft.

  16. ncbucsfan Says:

    That’s a Zaiven Collins assessment, not Jamin Davis. I will admit I like him more than Nick Bolton. However, we do NOT need an ILB in the first round. If we want more depth at the position, draft one in the 4th to improve our rotation. I like Levi Onzuwrike, an Edge-rusher, or a cornerback with our 1st rd pick

  17. PSL Bob Says:

    Wait a minute Joe. You keep saying you want the Bucs to draft a guy who can play on Sundays. How is the guy going to get on the field with Lavonte David and Devin White playing?

  18. SB~LV Says:

    Folks we have a mature roster ….we will never bring back the 22 starters again , next year the Bucs will be back to the typical NFL roster turnover. Starters will go down this year, don’t get complacent

  19. fish Says:

    i dont get using a top pick on an ILB. we have 2 studs and minter to rotate in for breaks. minter does a good job at filling in. Unless the plan would be to start getting white at OLB more cause i could see that in the long term. White is special at blitzing.

  20. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:


  21. windbaggery Says:


    A three-year starter at Tulsa, Collins lined up at weakside linebacker

    Collins? Are we talking about Davis?

  22. Cobraboy Says:

    You don’t draft STers in the first three rounds!

  23. David Says:

    I am all for DL/LB in round one. I think it’s what they should take.
    DL rotating in with Suh and Gholstin who are up there in age, LB/edge guy to give people a rest and get into the rotation, plus he would be a special teams player.
    Basically someone in the front seven on defense would get more playing time than any other position in my opinion. He would also take over for someone on the DL or David in a few years depending on which position they draft.

    That said, I do not know this guy and he seems very small. I have seen other edge rusher/LB‘s that look just as good and will probably be there when they pick.

  24. Red86 Says:

    A linebacker that fast? Jaw dropping. I would at least rotate him to olb to rush the passer on top of breathers for David or White.

  25. Ben Says:

    We talking collins or davis? Seems to be some mix up in the scouting report. I wouldnt mind depth at linebacker mid rounds. Tbh I think draft should be focused on edge and corner in rounds 1&2. Oline or Qb in round 3, off ball LB in 4 and depth at safety, RB and DT in remaining rounds.

  26. Rod Munch Says:

    You should not be drafting guys you need to play from day 1, that often gets you in a lot of trouble. Yes, sometimes it works out, but history shows that MOST of the time it does not. Late 1st round LBs (like Derrick Brooks for example) often work out, and while I know nothing about this kid, those messurables are ultra impressive. If he’s around, and he can play football, then it would seem like a good pick to me. Also with those measurables there’s no reason they can’t line him up outside as well and let him rush from the edge when Shaq or JPP need a breather (or even better, let David move outside and cause havoc like he did early in his career).

    Anyways LB just seems like an area where you hit on a lot of guys in this part of the draft.

  27. adam from ny Says:

    yes another sideline to sideline blazer is fit to order…

    this would be a great pick…


  28. JGhotier Says:

    If you watch that 75yd INT return for a TD against Tennessee, he does not look like he runs a 4.4 on that play whatsoever.

    It’s why we shouldn’t get caught up in 40 times in shorts. It’s just different when all those pads and weight come on (there’s a lot of factors involved in this). I remember playing on an 8th grade team when I was younger. We’d run sometimes in pads, sometimes not in pads. I was always finishing 1st or 2nd when not in pads, however, when we ran in pads, I would somehow finish 3rd-5th on the team.

    Speed in pads on the field is how speed should be judged always….not in shorts running a 40yd dash.

    Devin White’s 4.4 on the field in pads looks much faster than Jamin Davis’ 4.4 on the football field to me.

    Dude is still fast on the field, especially for his size, but 4.4 40’s are not the same for everyone when they hit that field in pads. That’s just factual.

    Same w/ Lavonte David’s 4.6 40yd dash

  29. FrankPillow Says:

    As I said last week, if Davis is there he’s gonna be very hard to pass up…and I’d be very surprised if he’s not the pick.

  30. bucsince79 aka bumaneer Says:

    We need to draft a pass rusher… JPP & Suh are great, however, could both be in last year… I’m good with best ava & that rb from Alabama Harris is a beast & can catch…

  31. unbelievable Says:

    LOL this completely contradicts your last article…

  32. #1bucsfan Says:

    His numbers are crazy from his pro day. Get him and let Bowles work his magic and that guy would learn from white and LVD. If that doesn’t scare you then idk what will. This guy would fill a need for depth, help keep white and LVD fresh and could even give some breathers to jpp and saq. With that kind of speed he could rush off the edge and no one would touch him lol