By: Will Burchield
Jarrad Davis is officially a Detroit Lion.
The team signed Davis, its first-round selection in last month’s draft, to a four-year contract worth about $10.4 million on Friday, as first reported by the Free Press.
The deal, whose monetary value is based on Davis’ status as the 21st overall pick in the draft, includes a team option for the fifth year.
Davis, a University of Florida product, has a strong chance to start the 2017 season at middle linebacker. He was a force there for the Gators and the Lions were notoriously thin at the position in 2016.
If Davis claims the middle linebacker role, he’d likely bump Tahir Whitehead to outside linebacker.
The Lions like Davis for a number of reasons, especially for his character and versatility.
“He’s a passionate football player,” said GM Bob Quinn following the first round of the draft. “He’s got very good playing speed, he’s a very good tackler, good blitzer, good coverage player. This guy’s a really well-rounded linebacker.”
Quinn added that Davis received rave reviews from the coaching staff at Florida.
“They gave the guy glowing remarks in terms of intelligence, work ethic, toughness, leadership, all those things. It was one after another. It wasn’t just one source or one coach, it was everybody in the entire building,” said Quinn.
The Lions open rookie minicamp on Friday afternoon, which will feature their 2017 draft class along with a host of undrafted free agents and tryout players. It is expected that the team will have most, if not all, of its draftees under contract before camp begins.