Best draft fits for Western Michigan WR Corey Davis
There’s a healthy debate about which receiver is the best in the draft class, and Western Michigan’s Corey Davis is right there near the top. Whether evaluators prefer his excellent route-running, Clemson WR Mike Williams’ ball skills, or Washington WR John Ross’ speed, all three receivers bring unique skillsets to the table. Wide receiver-needy teams are better off looking for the best fit for their offensive system and perhaps more importantly, the style of their starting quarterback. Here’s a look at the best fits for Davis, with a few snippets from his PFF scouting report for added context:
What he does best
- Excellent route-runner who can separate really well due to his sharp route-running
- Sells double moves exceptionally well, especially with his head fake
- Uses his hands subtly to create separation
- Demonstrates attention to detail and savviness on tough sideline catches by tapping both feet inbounds
With A.J. Green on one side, the Bengals need a complement to what he brings as a downfield threat. Last season, they tried to make due with Brandon LaFell and rookie Tyler Boyd, but the offense felt the effects of losing Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu to free agency, especially given QB Andy Dalton’s success in 2015, when he had the best statistical season of his career.
Davis can effectively work the short and intermediate level of the field, using his sharp route-running to separate against man coverage and his savviness to find open holes in zones. With Davis on one side, Green can do his usual work at the intermediate and deep levels while Boyd can continue to progress in his role in the slot. Davis to the Bengals is one of the best fits in the entire draft.
QB Marcus Mariota is the key to this fit, as he desperately needs a wide receiver to complement his style of play. He’s a quick decision-maker who prefers to go through his reads to find the open receiver rather than forcing throws into tight coverage and hoping for his receiver to win at the catch point. For that reason, Davis is the best fit for Tennessee as his route-running will work with Mariota’s style, while giving the offense a legitimate threat both before and after the catch — Davis averaged 8.1 yards after the catch per reception over the last three years. Unlike Cincinnati, where Davis would immediately become the No. 2 receiver, he becomes the top option in Tennessee and likely a high-volume, 100-catch type of receiver for the Titans.
The fit in Buffalo is more about the current depth chart than schematic or quarterback fits as beyond WR Sammy Watkins, the Bills are still searching for a legitimate move-the-chains threat for the passing game. Davis brings just that, allowing Watkins to work more of the vertical route tree. While QB Tyrod Taylor is an excellent deep-ball thrower, he’s still developing his timing at the intermediate level and having a receiver the caliber of Davis can only help, even if it’s not the strength to his game. Taylor is still not locked in as the signal-caller of the future in Buffalo, so perhaps his style is less important when weighing Davis’ long-term impact. If the Bills draft Davis, he is right up there with Watkins as the top receiver on the team, and both players differ enough in style that they can co-exist and add a major boost to Buffalo’s passing attack.