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Friday, April 27, 2012
Rapid Reaction: LB Davis in third round

By Rich Cimini

PICK: Third round (14th, 77th overall)

PLAYER: Demario Davis

SCHOOL: Arkansas State

POSITION: Linebacker

HEIGHT: 6-foot-2

WEIGHT: 235 pounds

What it means: This was a curious choice. Davis will be an inside linebacker, an area of moderate need. They could've waited until the later rounds to address the depth issue at the position. They passed on RT Bobby Massie (Ole Miss) and S George Iloka (Boise State), players that would've filled bigger needs. Evidently, the Jets fell in love with Davis' measureables. He was a top performer at the combine, with 32 reps on the bench press and a 38-inch vertical jump -- best among OLBs. He was a three-year starter, recording seven sacks, four interceptions and 230 tackles.

How he fits in the defensive scheme: Davis was an outside 'backer in a 4-3 scheme, so this is a projection pick. He's too small to play outside in the Jets' 3-4 front, so he'll have to slide inside, where he'll back up David Harris and Bart Scott. (By the way, GM Mike Tannenbaum reiterated that Scott will be on the team.) Davis has blitzing ability, so he could be used as a situational player. He runs well (4.56 in the 40), so he should help the overall speed in an aging linebacking corps.

Projected impact: This was a bit of a reach. Initially, Davis projects as a special-teams player and a backup. He's not particularly fluid in coverage, so it's hard to imagine him being used in sub packages. Special teams coach Mike Westhoff rated him as one of the best special teamers in the draft. That'll be his role as a rookie.