Joe Theismann: Washington prioritized need in drafting Jamin Davis at No. 19

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Matt Weyrich
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Theismann: Washington prioritized need drafting Jamin Davis originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Football Team entered the 2021 NFL Draft with linebacker as its biggest position of need. With the 19th overall pick, the team addressed that need by taking linebacker Jamin Davis. The Kentucky product was the only player in college football with at least 100 tackles and three interceptions last season and should fit right into Washington’s defensive scheme.

Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann joined the team’s draft coverage livestream hosted by Julie Donaldson and talked about head coach Ron Rivera’s decision process behind the pick.

“It really wasn’t a question of whether Jack Del Rio or Scott Turner was gonna get a choice,” Theismann said. “I thought Ron put it very well. They took a look at who everybody wanted and who was the one that was gonna fill a need. Now, I’ve said this many, many times. Defense wins championships. I think our defense led our football team last year.

“Let’s face it, the linebacker position on the defensive side has been the one that’s been depleted. So now all of a sudden you add a first-round pick, it’s a good pick, it’s a safe pick, it’s a smart pick….I really feel like the direction that we’re going in, in so many different ways, is extremely positive. It’s a great choice for this football team.”

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Washington is coming off a 7-9 season that saw the team win the NFC East for the first time since 2015. A young defensive core anchored by pass rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat helped Washington hold opponents to the fourth-fewest points (20.6 PPG) and second-fewest yard (304.6 YPG) in the NFL. The addition of Davis only further strengthens that group at a position considered to be its weakest link.

Before the draft is over, Theismann expects Washington to add more pieces to that defensive unit — perhaps even more than it will on offense.

“We’ve added in the offseason when it comes to free agency [on] the offensive side,” Theismann said. “The draft is a good place to go. I still think there’s gonna be a lineman taken absolutely here, probably maybe another linebacker, could be a safety. So defense still could wind up having a few more guys than the offense does after this draft is over.”