New York Jets linebacker Demario Davis was selected in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the No. 77 overall selection in the draft out of Arkansas State. The Jets have some interesting plans for his unique blend of skills, especially his speed, with Demario Davis likely to get some time spelling Bart Scott in different situations this season. Beyond that, he could replace Scott soon. Davis is getting high praise in terms of his NFL potential.
There were a lot of people left saying, "Who?" when Demario Davis was drafted by the New York Jets in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Mel Kiper was a big supporter of the selection, noting the speed and athleticism of Davis and saying that in a bigger conference he would have been picked well before the third round.
"Not only will third-round Demario Davis fill a depth need at ILB, he has a good chance at starting in year two. That’s because current starting ILB Bart Scott, who turns 33 next August, has no guaranteed money left in his contract after this season. His cap number for 2013 is $8.65 million. It’s not a secret that there was a good chance the Jets would have cut or traded Scott had his $4.2 million base salary for this season not been fully guaranteed. One NFL executive said he could see Davis starting for 8-10 years, if healthy, for the Jets based on his talent level, which is strong. The only knock on him is he played against a lower level of competition at Arkansas St., which explains why he wasn’t selected higher."
It's possible that by next year the Jets could have Quinton Coples, Stephen Hill and Demario Davis all starting as 2012 NFL Draft picks. Coples and Hill have a shot at starting this season, and Davis does figure to see some playing time in different substitution packages.
The Demario Davis pick was a good one because he has a rare tool as an inside linebacker: great speed. He did play lower-level competition at Arkansas State, which will steepen his learning curve as he steps up to NFL competition, but speed translates tot he professional level.
The Jets took a good shot on a player with great upside in Demario Davis, and if he ends up being a starter for 8-10 years, a lot of people will have to revisit the draft grades they gave the Jets for the 2012 NFL Draft.
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