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Bob Dixon

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Kentucky's Jamin Davis Picked As NFL's 19th Overall Draft Pick

LEXINGTON, Ky. – – Kentucky junior inside linebacker Jamin Davis was chosen in the first round by the Washington Football Team as the 19th overall pick in the 2021 National Football League Draft on Thursday in Cleveland.

Jamin Davis (UK Athletics Photo)

Davis, from Ludowici, Georgia, was the breakout star of the 2020 season for UK, totaling a team-high 102 tackles. The 6-foot-4, 234-pound middle linebacker saw his first extensive playing time and didn’t disappoint, tallying double-digit tackles in seven of the 10 games he played, including becoming the first UK player to record five straight such games since former Wildcat and current Chicago Bear Danny Trevathan had nine straight in 2010. He finished third in the SEC in total tackles and was one of just four players in the league to average 10 or more tackles per game.

In addition to the 13 tackles and game-sealing interception he had versus No. 24 NC State in the Gator Bowl, he tallied a then-career-best 12 tackles to go along with an 85-yard interception return for a touchdown in the win at No. 18 Tennessee. A week earlier against Mississippi State, he had 11 tackles and intercepted a pass in the end zone on the final play of the first half. He finished the season second on the team and ninth in the SEC with three interceptions, five total pickoffs in his career. He was the only FBS player in 2020 with at least 100 tackles and three interceptions.

Davis was a first-team All-SEC section from Pro Football Focus and earned second-team All-SEC honors from Phil Steele.

As a sophomore in 2019, he saw action in all 13 games with one start and totaled 32 tackles, one sack, two quarterback hurries and an interception. He tied for the team lead in tackles with a career-high seven and also had his first career sack in the win over intrastate rival Louisville in the regular-season finale. He followed that performance with six tackles in the win over Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl.

During his freshman season in 2018, he played in 13 games as a reserve linebacker, finishing with 10 tackles, one interception and a pass breakup.

In three total seasons, Davis saw action in 36 games with 11 starting assignments. Overall, he totaled 144 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks, five interceptions, three PBU, three QBH, one block, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.

Off the field, Davis is on track to graduate in May with a degree in community and leadership development.

The second and third rounds of the Draft will be selected on Friday, April 30 at 7 p.m. ET. It will conclude with rounds 4–7 on Saturday, May 1 at noon ET. The Draft will be televised nationally by NFL Network, ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and can be heard nationwide on Westwood One Radio, SiriusXM NFL Radio and ESPN Radio.

Kentucky/NFL Draft Notes:

  • This marks the third straight year UK has had at least one player taken in the first three rounds.

  • Davis is the 18th player in UK history selected in the first round, the third in the Mark Stoops era (Josh Allen in 2019 and Alvin “Bud” Dupree and 2015).

  • Davis is the second UK player taken in the first round by Washington (also Steve Meilinger in 1954).

  • Davis is the 15th player in UK history chosen in the top 20 and the first since Josh Allen was selected as the seventh pick by the Jaguars in 2019.

  • Davis is UK’s highest draft pick since Josh Allen was selected as the seventh overall pick by the Jaguars in 2019.

  • Davis is the 13th player drafted under head coach Mark Stoops at Kentucky.

  • Since 2001, Coach Stoops has recruited and developed 13 first-round draft picks.

  • Kentucky has had a linebacker drafted in six of the last 10 NFL drafts (2021 – Jamin Davis; 2019 - Josh Allen; 2016 - Josh Forrest; 2015 – Alvin “Bud” Dupree; 2015 - Za’Darius Smith; 2014 - Avery Williamson).

  • UK’s last three first rounders have been a linebacker or LB/DE, including Josh Allen in 2019 and Alvin “Bud” Dupree in 2015.

  • Davis is the fourth defensive player from Kentucky to be selected in the first round in the last 19 years, joining Josh Allen (2019), Alvin “Bud” Dupree (2015) and Dewayne Robertson (2003).

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