Back when we started this exercise in February, the name "Jamin Davis" simply wasn't on the radar. Not only was he not a popular pick for the Browns at No. 26, but also for anyone else in the first round.
Now, after one of the most impressive Pro Day performances of anyone over the past month, Davis is smack dab in the middle of the conversation with the Browns and a handful of other teams looking to upgrade their defense with a pick in the second half of the first round.
Here's the primer on Davis, a one-year starter at Kentucky, from NFL.com's Lance Zierlein.
Lightly experienced, but ascending inside linebacker prospect with excellent blend of size, length and pursuit talent. Davis plays with his pads squared to the line of scrimmage, operating with quick, lateral scrapes and a nose for finding the ball-carrier. He needs to improve his technique in taking on blocks and constricting run lanes. His vision, focus and field awareness are innate strengths that all play a part in his ability to play past blockers with his eyes and pursue with consistent fluidity to the direction of the running play. He can cover big tight ends. He also plays with anticipation and an above-average catch radius to make quarterbacks pay for taking him lightly in zone. Davis could use more seasoning before he's ready for full-time snaps but he should become a starter.
NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah calls himself the "president" of the Davis fan club and recently projected Davis to land with the Browns in his mock draft last week. Here's his breakdown of Davis, whom he ranks as the 24th-best overall prospect in the draft — 11 spots better than he ranked him just a few weeks ago.
Davis is a tall and lanky off-the-ball linebacker. He has excellent eyes to key, read, fill and finish. He uses his quickness to beat blockers to spots. He is much better working around blocks than taking them on, but he has outstanding lateral range, and his eyes give him a jump-start. He has stopping power as a tackler in the hole, and he really excels against the pass ... Overall, Davis lacks some strength to bang versus blockers, but his speed and playmaking ability jump off the screen. He should be a Day 1, three-down impact player at the next level.
Davis' name comes up more than once in this week's roundup. Only two more until the real thing ...
Of Note: Kiper believes Davis could play any of the LB spots in Cleveland's 4-3 defense. Also of note, Kiper projects the Browns to address wide receiver in the second round with the selection of Western Michigan's D'Wayne Eskridge.
Of Note: Orr writes he's inclined to lean toward a raw player like Oweh if the Browns add even more depth to their pass rusher position via free agency before the draft.
Of Note: Schrager writes Rousseau is "just scratching the surface" after a breakout 2019 campaign that was followed by his decision to opt out of the 2020 season.
Of Note: While some analysts peg Paye as the best available edge rusher, Jones-Drew has him coming off the board fourth behind Jaelan Phillips, Gregory Rousseau and Azeez Ojulari.
Of Note: Wilson calls Davis a "special talent" whose "best football is in front of him."
Of Note: Edwards has the Browns choosing Tryon over Penn State's Jayson Oweh, whom he projects to come off the board one spot later to the Ravens.
Of Note: Monson writes Owusu-Koromoah, who weighs 221 pounds, has "elite quickness and speed" for a linebacker.
Of Note: Erickson writes Owusu-Koromoah would fit in nicely with Cleveland because of how much it had linebackers guard players in the slot (second-most in the NFL in 2020).
Of Note: Edholm has Newsome coming off the board before Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley, whom he projects to fall to No. 29 to the Packers.
Of Note: In his seven-round mock, Iyer has the Browns selecting Stanford CB Paulson Adebo with their second-round pick and two more defensive players in the third round.
The Browns' offseason roster on April 1, 2021