Another strong option that will likely be available is the linebacker from Appalachian State, Akeem Davis-Gaither. While the recognition may not be as strong as others, Davis-Gaither can play and likely would have had much bigger offers if he had the prototypical linebacker size. At 6-foot-1 and only 224-pounds, Davis Gaither is smaller than safety/linebacker hybrid prospect Isaiah Simmons.
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Don’t let the size fool you, Davis-Gaithers can play, and he excels at shedding blocks. In 2019 the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year racked up 104 tackles with 14.5 being for loss, on top of 5 sacks and one interception.
While Davis-Gaither’s may be a no go on some boards because of size, he could transition well to the Browns system as the weakside linebacker (WILL) or possibly the fifth defensive back that will prowl near the line of scrimmage in Joe Wood’s system. Davis-Gaither’s has great athleticism and strength that would allow him to make the switch to the strong safety/rover type position. Another strong skillset of Davis-Gaither is above average coverage skills which would with Joe Schobert no longer in the picture.
At times Davis-Gaither can be too physical and aggressive which can lead to getting reached and losing leverage. However, you can’t teach physicality, so proper training could turn Davis-Gaither into a run-stopping machine. Remember, he also hasn’t spent a ton of time in the box, there will continue to be growth and development just with repetition.
Davis-Gaither would be an extremely exciting pick for the Browns and would be the perfect fit. Remember, Davis-Gaither would be a tremendous special teams’ player as well in 2020. I would take Harrison over Davis-Gaither, but Harrison could easily be off the board.