Many NFL draft experts have Jarrad Davis as a first-round pick, but fear related to his durability is the only thing keeping him from even loftier projections.
On Tuesday, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay held a conference call with reporters in which he raved about the former Florida linebacker’s attitude.
“I think from a talent standpoint, Jarrad Davis is a first-round player. From an intangibles standpoint, he’s top 5 in the class,” McShay said. “I mean, he’s a player that loves the game. You can see the passion and just energy he has for the game when you study him on tape.”
McShay also categorized Davis’ sideline-to-sideline pursuit against the run as “top 2 or 3” in the crop. Although he believes Davis can improve in zone coverage, McShay believes that’s coachable.
Davis had to deal with multiple leg injuries last season, which is reason for pause, but McShay was blown away by how he recovered at Florida’s pro day.
“How do teams, with their medical process, what do they think of him in terms of long-term?” McShay said. “Is the knee injury a concern? Is he going to be able to stay on the field? I think that’s the biggest thing. But if he checks out medically … he belongs in the first round.”
Both McShay and fellow draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. have Davis going late in the first round, Kiper at No. 23 and McShay at No. 24. McShay compared Davis to former LSU linebacker Kwon Alexander.
Last season, Davis (60) was second only to Marcell Harris (73) on the Gators in tackles despite playing 4 fewer games than Harris. Davis added 6.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks.