In a press conference in early March, head coach Ron Rivera said that “we want a guy with Kevin-Pierre Louis skillset, weather that’s re-signing KPL or getting someone else”. Well, they got that someone else, and its Kentucky ILB Jamin Davis. They were linked to Micah Parsons, but they were only going to get him if they moved into the top 10, and they were never going to do that for a linebacker.
The biggest question mark on Washington was linebacker, and with this move, they have upgraded an already elite defense. Cole Holcomb and Jon Bostic are thumpers, so they needed more speed on that second line. Over the last few years, Washington has been killed by running backs/TE in the passing game, so adding Davis helps them in pass coverage, allowing this young defensive to get after the QB. The skill that Ron Rivera liked the most about Davis is his ability to play all 3 LB spots in a 4-3 defense, and I expect him to lead the team in tackles if he is the every down linebacker in this defense.
The only concern I have about this pick is the fact that this is the 5th year in a row Washington has drafted defense in the first round (Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Montez Sweat, Chase Young, Chase Young). At some point the money is going to catch up with all the players, and they obviously won’t be able to pay every single player, that’s just not how it works, but for the mean time, they can get this defense to be one of the best defenses in recent memory.
They also were interested in a few offensive linemen like Vera-Tucker, Darrisaw and Tevin Jenkins, but once they were able to require Ereck Flowers from the Miami Dolphins for a 7th round pick swap (244 for 258 and Flowers), I fully think this changed their entire draft board. They like what they have at left tackle with Cornelius Lucas, plus they did take Saahdiq Charles in last years draft, and he could become a starting level LT, locking up that left side of the OL for this upcoming season. He never really got a chance to show what he can do last year due to injury, so they would like to allow him to get a fair chance, and sure up the defense by upgrading the LB position.
The fact that Washington did not move up to get a QB makes a lot of sense when you do some deep diving. Just because you draft a QB in the first round does not mean he’ll be your day one starter. Look at the skillset and mentality of the player and ask yourself, does he fit the direction the franchise is headed towards, and does he fit the scheme/plan you have in place for the QB? Look at when Washington traded for Alex Smith back in 2018, he did not fit Jay Gruden’s style of offense, and you got no real production from the offense. Look at a guy, and create a plan for him, not just draft a guy because it was a position of need.