Corey Davis NFL Draft Profile

Cory Davis Fantasy

Corey Davis NFL Draft Profile

Corey Davis is the best fantasy prospect in this NFL draft class, and you’ve probably never seen him play. You might not get to before draft day either. The Central Michigan standout underwent ankle surgery in January, forcing him to miss both the Combine and CMU’s pro day. No signs point to an eventual pre-draft public workout either. But that might not be a bad thing. The setback may force him to fall in dynasty rookie drafts. Which could give savvy owners an opportunity to strike on a guy that could have been No. 1 overall had we seen how his metrics stacked up at the NFL Combine.

What Do We Know?

Corey Davis checked in at 6-3, 209-pounds with 33-inch arms (79th-percentile) and 9 1/8-inch hands at the Combine. He didn’t run any drills, but he didn’t need to. The stats tell the whole story. Davis absolutely dominated at Central Michigan. Define dominated? He’s the all-time leader in Division I FBS receiving yards with 5,278. He also finished second all-time with 52 touchdowns. Run the numbers on that and Corey scores a 51.6% College Dominator Rating (96th-percentile) per Player Profiler, putting him on hallowed grounds for that metric. Factor in his Breakout Age of 18.7 (a statistic dynasty enthusiasts seem to value), and he’s in a class with only Hakeem Nicks, Amari Cooper and Dez Bryant. Did that get your attention? Speaking of Amari Cooper…

Best Comparable Player: Amari Cooper

Watching the film on Davis, he immediately reminded me of Brandon Marshall. He was ultimately about 20-pounds too small for that comp though. After watching some tape of Amari Cooper and comparing their measurements and college production, I could make the case for Cooper as a stronger comp. He’s not as good a route runner as Cooper, but he’s not bad in that department by any means. He struggles a little bit against zone coverage, but was excellent against man and still managed to be very effective (as evidenced by his stats) against multiple defenders. He’s good at making plays in traffic, but probably body catches the ball more than he should. Although when you see some of the one-handed catches he comes down with, it takes away any concerns about his hands.

The thing that really likens him to Cooper is his speed. I would have loved to confirm it with a 40-time, but it’s pretty evident on film that Davis has elite speed. Probably not quite on par with Cooper, who blazed with a 4.42 40 at the Combine, but still great for his size. He was a YAC monster at CMU, taking quite a few screens and posts to the house and showing a knack for creating something out of nothing throughout his college career. Cooper is most impressive in that same regard, possessing excellent vision in the open field, with elite agility and burst.

Where Does He Fit?

At the end of the day, for any rookie, the team fit is paramount when determining a quick ascent to success. The Saints were in need of an heir to Marques Colston, desperate to find a red zone threat to fill the void Jimmy Graham left behind. Michael Thomas was perfect for that role. The fit was ideal. Where Corey Davis ends up will go a long way in determining how quickly he impacts the NFL. It’s one thing for him to be tethered to Marcus Mariota for the next decade. It’s another to be tethered to whoever the Jets trot out at quarterback. Many mocks feature the Titans taking a chance on Davis and I personally love the fit. The Titans have long lacked a true flanker, “Z” receiver to lead its air attack. I’m sure they would love to pair Mariota with an elite, young No. 1 option.

Outside of the Titans, the Bills, Saints, Ravens and Lions could all spend a first round pick on a wide receiver. Landing on the Saints would be favorable to his fantasy upside in the near future, but leaves the long-term outlook uncertain as Brees approaches his 40s. Still, I don’t think anyone would complain about that outcome. The Lions would be the best of both worlds. Pairing Corey with a proven veteran QB that still has a lot of mileage left on his tires, in Stafford. On the other hand, Davis going to the Bills or Ravens would be disappointing. It’s not Corey Coleman to the Browns bad, but it’s definitely not good.

Fantasy Outlook

Corey Davis is by no means a surefire All-Pro at the next level. His measurables won’t blow you away. He doesn’t have A.J. Green’s height or Julio Jones body mass. He doesn’t have Dez Bryant’s arm length or Odell Beckham’s hand size. We think he’s fast, but there’s no 40-time to back our suspicions. All in all, he’s a gamble. But you can only play the cards you are dealt. By the eye test, Davis pops. And his college statistics are in a class of their own. We’re talking about the all-time leader in receiving yards in FBS history. The all-time leader! It would be easy to play it safe and settle for someone else on draft day, but you run the risk of passing on the next great wide receiver of this generation. It’s not a lock by any means, but is it ever? Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook have upside, but running backs are a dime a dozen with limited shelf lives. Corey Davis has a high floor with perhaps the highest ceiling of any player. If I have pick 1.01 in a rookie draft, you better believe I’m taking Corey Davis.

 

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About the author

Bob Talbot

Bob, a Quinnipiac grad, is an avid sports fan and fantasy enthusiast. Currently resides in the professional sport-less state of Connecticut, but will never forget his roots in the great state of New Jersey.

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