Lions’ first-rounder Jarrad Davis will learn, then lead

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park – Jarrad Davis is a natural leader. It’s part of the package that made him an appealing option for the Detroit Lions, who selected the Florida linebacker No. 21 overall last month.

But rookies rarely lead. It’s not their place. So while he bides his time, Davis is observing everyone around him, studying the tendencies, habits and attitudes of his teammates. And when it’s his time to be a leading voice in the Lions’ locker room, he plans to be ready.

“You’re not going to come in and raise your voice or talk to an older guy who has been in the league, doing this for six, seven, eight, nine years,” Davis said. “You’re not going to be able to tell them, ‘Hey, this is how we’re going to do it. This is how things are going to go.’ You can’t do that.

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“You have to evaluate constantly. We’re getting evaluated as rookies, but at the same token, I’m doing an evaluation, too,” he said. “I’m seeing what guys are doing, I’m seeing how guys work, I’m seeing what makes a guy go, I’m seeing what makes a guy upset and shut down a little bit. I’m working every little piece of the game, every piece of my mind, to make sure I know how to address my teammates and how to push them when it’s time for me to step up and take that role.”

As for the on-field component, Davis said he sees plenty of similarities to the defense he played in at Florida, only with the additional details and nuance you’d expect jumping from the collegiate to the professional ranks.

Davis knows, he won’t be able to lead until he has a full understanding of his individual responsibilities within Detroit’s scheme.

“I have to make sure, with everything that’s in front of me, on my plate, I have to take care of that,” he said. “After that’s done, then I can work on the other things and making sure everyone else is on point.”

Twitter: @justin_rogers