NFL Draft Rumors: Detroit Lions, New York Giants Target Florida Linebacker Jarrad Davis in First Round
The Detroit Lions and New York Giants are targeting Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis with their first round picks in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft. The Lions will select at no. 21, while the Giants are two spots down at no. 23.
Davis, 21, is a senior at the University of Florida and has been with the team for the last four seasons. He was a first-time starter in his junior year, producing 98 tackles, 11 for loss, 3.5 sacks, and four pass breakups in his breakthrough season.
He also started well last year but suffered a left leg injury in October. He missed three games and almost sat out the entire game when he returned, but he still managed to record 60 tackles, six for loss, and four pass breakups in 2016.
The injury slightly dropped his draft stock. However, his strong performance during his Pro Day put him back as a potential first-round prospect.
Davis registered 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which is at par with the top 10 best times for a linebacker during the NFL Combine. He also recorded a 38.5-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-9-inch broad leap, which would have been the highest among linebackers.
MLive reported that the Lions are in need of athletic linebackers and Davis seem to fit the bill. Head coach Jim Caldwell's team is lacking at the said position after two of their starters became free agents this offseason. Joshua Bynes' contract expired, while the team waived DeAndre Levy.
Meanwhile, the Giants are also attracted with Davis' athletic ability, as per Chat Sports. However, just like Detroit, New York is cautious about his health as the Kingsland, Georgia native seems to be an injury-prone player. Giants head coach Ben McAdoo is said to be planning to utilize Davis as a "sideline-to-sideline weakside linebacker or middle linebacker", but it is unlikely that he will get a starting nod in New York in his first season in the league.
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