Jack Del Rio loves how Jamin Davis held his own against Kyle Pitts last season

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Peter Hailey
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Del Rio loves how Jamin Davis competed with Kyle Pitts in 2020 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

By now, Washington head coach Ron Rivera's feelings about first-round draft pick Jamin Davis are well known. Rivera appreciates Davis' versatility, speed and character, which were three main reasons why Rivera took the Kentucky defender 19th overall on Thursday night.

But how does defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio view Davis? That's a question NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay got the chance to present to him on Friday.

During an interview with the Washington Football Talk podcast, Del Rio echoed much of what Rivera said when it came to Davis' skills. But he also mentioned one performance in particular that stuck with him throughout the pre-draft process.

"You can pop on the Florida game and watch him against one of the premier players to come out this year in [Kyle] Pitts," Del Rio said. "He was able to stick with him and do some good things on that day."

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Pitts, who went fourth overall to the Falcons, embarrassed almost everyone who tried to get in his way this past season for the Gators. Yet the consensus among scouts and evaluators was that Davis, along with new Panthers corner Jaycee Horn, were two of the only guys who could legitimately hang with him.

Del Rio definitely agrees with that.

"That's encouraging, to see a guy against one of the elite players coming out in this year's draft," he told Finlay. "All you have to do is watch the tape."

While the thought of Davis bringing that coverage ability to Washington to cancel out opposing tight ends and whatever other targets he gets matched up with is extremely appealing, don't think that's all he's got in his toolbox.

Per his new boss, Davis will impact every Washington Football Team game no matter what is put on his plate.

"We think he's a good linebacker period," Del Rio emphasized. "I think he's capable of doing all the different things that we ask our guys to do. He's capable of blitzing, he's capable of stuffing blocks and playing the run game, he's got the speed and athleticism we look for."