The Kentucky Wildcats are typically synonymous with first-round NBA draft picks, but in the last few seasons, they’ve drastically improved their football program, winning the Belk Bowl to cap off the 2019 season.
Now, they may have on their hands a first-round pick.
Junior Jamin Davis was featured in Todd McShay’s most-recent ESPN mock draft. Davis was selected 32nd overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that may have to brace for several key free agents leaving.
“Tampa Bay can replenish a front seven that could look a lot different in Week 1 than it did on Super Bowl Sunday. Davis could potentially be considered a reach here, but he’s very underrated, and I love his tape. If the Buccaneers can’t hang on to Lavonte David, Davis — who made 102 tackles and picked off three passes last season — could slide into his role alongside Devin White,” McShay wrote.
The aggressive 6-foot-4 linebacker has been a staple of Kentucky’s defense these last few seasons. Davis had an absolutely dominant 2020 season, recording over 100 total tackles, almost three times the amount he had the season prior.
Davis also tallied four sacks. Three interceptions, a touchdown, a forced fumble — Davis showed that he can do just about everything in the middle of the field. Many analysts have predicted that Davis will be a late first to second-round talent.
He has the upside. Playing in the SEC and being top-ten in tackles, Davis has shown that his game has all the intangibles and should translate well to the next level. If Davis falls to the second round, some NFL team will be getting an absolute steal.