Jarrad Davis, Linebacker
I apologize if you’re tired of reading about how Jarrad Davis needs to step up, and for him being on so many of these offseason lists (“Lions Hurt By Offseason Additions“, “The Future is Now“, “What the New Linebackers Mean…”). In fairness though, Davis’s performance makes him fit into each of those lists equally well, just as an article about Lions players in need of a bounce back year wouldn’t be complete without including him also.
Davis has been voted one of the team’s seven captains for both of the past two seasons, and his character and work ethic seem to be unanimously praised among teammates, coaches, and the front office.
However, after posting career lows in tackles and sacks in 2019 and grading out poorly by most of Pro Football Focus’s linebacker metrics, the writing is on the wall for the former first round pick: get it together, or we’re moving on.
In one noteworthy, but unsurprising offseason transaction, the Lions declined the fifth year option on Davis’s rookie deal, making him an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. Going along with that, they brought in a busload of other linebackers to compete for his spot this fall.
As for Davis’s long-term prospects as a Lion, the jury is still out, but with 12 angry men now fighting for playing time at linebacker, another season like the last for #40 would indeed be his last in Detroit.
Next Man Up: Jahlani Tavai. Reggie Ragland. Jamie Collins. Elijah Lee… etc, etc.