How will former Lions fare with new teams in 2021?

Kenny Golladay #19 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Kenny Golladay #19 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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Jarrad Davis (Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)
Jarrad Davis, Detroit Lions (Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /

Jarrad Davis

Position: Linebacker
Age: 26
New team: New York Jets
2020 stats with Lions: 14 games played, 46 total tackles, 0.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles

Despite no shortage of opportunities over four seasons with the Lions, Davis never came close to living up to his first-round draft status. When his snaps and production started dropping dramatically in 2020, it was obvious that he would be playing elsewhere in 2021.

He’ll get a fresh slate with the New York Jets, though with just a one-year deal, he’ll be under pressure to show that he can finally become a consistent player in the NFL. He’ll get his shot, as he joins a defense with little depth and lots of question marks.

As defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers, new Jets head coach Robert Saleh typically relied on just two linebackers to play the majority of the snaps, with a four-man front and an extra defensive back. Davis should be penciled in as one of those players, since the Jets’ other top linebackers, C.J. Mosely and Blake Cashman, played a collective total of just three defensive snaps in 2020.

Davis was never able to emerge as a reliable run stopper or coverage player at the second level with the Lions. He also doesn’t have the size to play on the edge full-time, so it’s hard to see exactly what kind of role he’ll fill as Saleh works to establish his defensive philosophy.

It generally takes more than one season for a new coach to find the players they need to fit their preferred system. Thus, Davis will need to impress early to ensure that he is part of the plan moving forward.

One thing that Davis did do well with the Lions was work as a spot-blitzer. He may be best served there at least at the outset since the Jets don’t have the kind of pass rushers that Saleh had at his disposal in San Fransisco. Davis’ effort has also never been in question, and he could endear himself to the new staff with his all-out-all-the-time style.