Buccaneers 2017 NFL Draft Profile: WR Corey Davis
By Zach Sauers
With the 2016 regular season coming to an end and playoffs likely out of reach, the Buccaneers will head into this off-season with much to deal with. Especially the matter of finding a true number two receiver.
The Buccaneers’ 2016 season playoff hopes hang in the balance of fate this weekend versus the Carolina Panthers. Heading into week 16 with an 8-7 record is nowhere near ideal for a team looking to break the playoff curse.
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In those seven losses many issues could be at blame, but a common theme throughout the season has stayed the same. This Tampa Bay Bucs team has played through almost two full seasons now with no number two receiver on the roster.
The constant issue of force feeding Mike Evans has cost Jameis Winston throughout his first two years in the NFL dearly. Even though the rising star Cameron Brate has come into the equation quite well, the puzzle is still nowhere near finished.
Enter 6’3″ 213 pound Corey Davis out of Western Michigan. The Broncos’ record holding receiver has proved himself worthy of a first round pick to even the harshest of critics (including myself). Davis even set the NCAA record for the most career receiving yards at 5,205 yards in his time in Kalamazoo.
This stat freak lets his numbers speak for themselves.
The college career Davis has had is remarkable, but it could’ve also been cut short. After his sophomore year, Davis was already pulling the NFL communities eye and he could have declared. Surprisingly enough, one team to take interest was none other than the Bucs themselves.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, former Bucs’ coaching assistant and now head coach of the Broncos, P.J. Fleck, admitted the team’s attraction to the receiver. “I would have taken him in Tampa Bay after his sophomore year as our third receiver.”
Fleck went on to comment on his former player and veteran receiver, Vincent Jackson, and that he even put Davis in contact with the Bucs’ big man. The two receivers have drawn comparisons to each other, but Davis still has much to learn. Davis’s coach had heavy praise for his “complete package” and “hard-working” senior. “It’s the reason why he’s being talked about in the first two rounds. When you find one, you draft him. There might be guys that can do it, but to do it very well, that’s another thing.”
Davis’s game against Ball State was sensational. After watching the tape you can really get a sense of how great of a talent he really is. His separation speed, elusiveness, and true football intelligence is on full display in this game, but there are two things I believe that really stick out.
Davis has some phenomenal hands. Many receivers coming out for the draft always get knocked for having issues with their catching ability, and frankly there is none here. As you saw in the film, Davis is able to make some acrobatic catches.
The thing that I believe will help Davis the most is his yards after the catch or YAC. Although he is fully capable of the home-run ball, he can also make short patterns into big plays. This would mix well with Jameis due to the fact that the Bucs do not currently have a guy who can do this. Jameis has struggled with the deep ball throws, and to have a guy like Davis on this roster could help provide a weapon that is perfect for his talents.
Now although the Bucs’ draft position is yet to be known, they could end up as early as 12th (with a loss against Carolina). Currently, many draft experts see Davis as a mid to late round selection, which is exactly where the Bucs will be.
Could the connection to Tampa help bring this play-maker to the Bay? Let us hope.
What do you think Buc fans? Like what I have to say? If so follow me on Twitter and we can talk about anything Bucs. Siege the day. Now onto Carolina, lets keep these playoff hopes alive.