By and large, the 2017 NFL Draft is not a particularly exciting one for wide receivers — at least not in comparison to some other position groups. There aren’t many big-name prospects to get scouts and media evaluators buzzing at one of the most exciting positions.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any exciting receiver prospects.
Clemson’s Mike Williams and Washington’s John Ross will likely steal the show at the NFL scouting combine. But before the combine it is Western Michigan’s Corey Davis who has evaluators talking. Hailing from an unlikely school, Davis’ blend of size, athleticism, and skill makes him exactly the type of receiver NFL teams are looking for.
Unfortunately a shoulder injury, suffered while training after the season, kept him out of the Senior Bowl and could keep him out of the NFL Scouting Combine.
It’s unlikely that it will be enough to drop him down to the New York Giants at 23, but it still won’t hurt to take a look at a player who was largely unknown to start the season.
- Prototypical height/weight/speed receiver. Will be an instant “Number 1” receiver when drafted.
- Good route running. Sharp and accurate breaks at the top of his routes.
- Scheme diverse. Lined up outside and inside, and ran a variety of routes for WMU’s offense.
- Surprising long speed. Long legs chew up yards when he has the ball in his hands.
- Constantly looks for yards after the catch.
- Physical receiver. A willing blocker and uses a nasty stiff-arm to fight off defenders or break tackles.
- Good body control to adjust to the ball or make difficult catches.
- Dominated his level of competition. Often looked like a man amongst boys on the field.
- While he dominated his competition at Western Michigan, he will face a steep jump in the NFL.
- Not used to playing out of a huddle, that could extend his learning curve some.
- Spotty hands. While his QB occasionally put him in tough spots, he also dropped a few “easy” balls that were in his hands.
- Shoulder injury will need to be checked out by NFL teams.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
While Davis would likely need a bit of time to adjust to the pro game -- both the level of competition and the offensive system -- he would be a great fit with the Giants’ offense and a nightmare for defenses combined with Odell Beckham Jr.
Davis’ size and athleticism is something the Giants are missing on offense, but it is his sharp route running and and physicality are what would make him a fit. The Giants’ passing offense depends not only on getting open, but being in the right place at the right time. Assuming Davis’ route running translates to the next level, he can be where he needs to, when he needs to be there. He also consistently looks for yards after the catch, and doesn’t mind using his big frame to fight for them, something on which the Giants’ offense thrives.
They would also likely appreciate his willing (and physical) blocking.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 11th overall
Mocking The Draft - N/A
CBS Sports - 16th overall
Draft Countdown - 17th overall
Draft Tek - 19th overall
It’s possible, though unlikely, that Corey Davis could slip down to the Giants at 23rd overall, and his presence could dramatically transform New York’s offense.
With his size, speed, and physicality, Davis would be a natural fit at the “X” position now occupied by Odell Beckham Jr. That would allow Beckham to play the “Z” position (off the line of scrimmage), making it more difficult for defenses to disrupt his routes at the line of scrimmage. Though make no mistake, Beckham would still be the “Number 1” receiver.
Davis would also command attention from defenses, presenting them with a deadly choice of poisons along with Beckham and Sterling Shepard.
But should the Giants pounce if he is available? Would his potential benefits outweigh their needs along the offensive line or (potentially) the defensive line? Would three receivers in the first two rounds since 2014 be too much?
While it’s a question the Giants wouldn’t mind answering, defenses league-wide wouldn’t want to have to deal with the question of how they could possibly cover Beckham, Shepard, and Davis.