It seems like a topic that has been brought up at various times after every game that the Detroit Lions have played in this year, and it can no longer go without examination: Jarrad Davis has struggled mightily this season.
Selected with the 21st overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, the once-promising linebacker from the University of Florida has found himself in the headlines quite often to this point of the season, and not for anything particularly good. After seemingly improving down the stretch of both his rookie and sophomore years, one could argue that Davis has taken a large step backwards in 2019.
While a fair question may pertain to whether or not a preseason ankle injury is playing any role in Davis’s struggles, he constantly over-pursues his gaps in the run game, and has seen a definite regression in coverage. These items have been among the main reasons why Davis has found himself listed as one of the worst-performing linebackers in the league by Pro Football Focus.
In the six games that he has suited up for this year, Davis has recorded 32 tackles, two forced fumbles, and a pass defense. For the sake of comparison, it’s worth noting that Davis finished last season with exactly 100 tackles.
Davis is currently playing in the third year of his rookie contract, which can come to an end as early as the conclusion of the 2020-21 season. With the selection of Jahlani Tavai in this year’s draft, one has to at least wonder if the Lions would consider moving on from Davis, especially since a good argument could be made for favoring Tavai this season, who has played better than Davis (especially while stopping the run).
How long can the coaching staff continue to watch Davis struggle before making some sort of move? Well, that remains to be seen. But, the one thing is remains to be certain is the fact that Davis is not making it easy on fans or management to continue giving him opportunities to right the ship.