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Camp Spotlight: Linebacker Jarrad Davis


Position: Linebacker

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 238

School: Florida

Experience: Rookie

Outlook: Detroit's first-round pick this year has been slotted at the MIKE linebacker spot with the first-team defense since he first set foot in Allen Park for rookie minicamp.

Davis played right away as a freshman at Florida, and earned their most valuable player on special teams award. He earned a starting role as a junior, and recorded 98 tackles, 11 for loss, 3.5 sacks and four pass breakups that season.

View photos of Jarrad Davis during the Detroit Lions training camp practice on Aug. 5, 2017.

It's that kind of production the Lions are hoping Davis can bring to a linebacking corps that was devoid of difference-making plays a year ago.

Davis can run and cover, which makes him a three-down player in Teryl Austin's defense. The Lions struggled covering running backs and tight ends from the linebacker position last season, and Davis should be an upgrade in that department.

He's already taken on a leadership role, and is making the defensive calls.

Practice report: Davis lined up at the MIKE with the first-team defense. His first series ended with Darius Slay intercepting quarterback Matthew Stafford deep down the field.

Stafford came back on the next series against Davis and Co., and was able to move the ball down the field and score on a 10-yard receiver screen to Marvin Jones Jr. that Davis was too late getting over to before Jones crossed the goal line.

The one thing that stood out the most watching Davis Saturday were his cover skills. He reads plays fast, and knows where he has to be and he gets there in a hurry. Stafford and the other quarterbacks didn't throw any passes Davis' way when he was in coverage that I can remember.

His speed should be a factor in the middle of the Lions defense.

Quotable: "He's performing well," head coach Jim Caldwell said of Davis. "Like I said, nothing's perfect. He's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but he certainly works at it and he's doing a nice job just in terms of the overall progression."

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