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2017 NFL Draft fantasy profiles: WR Corey Davis

Looking at the No. 1B receiver in this year’s draft.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Wisconsin vs Western Michigan Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Profile

If there’s a battle for the top receiver in this year’s draft it’s between Mike Williams and Corey Davis. Personally, I’m picking Williams, but Davis isn’t far behind. If Williams is my number 1, Davis is my number 1b.

Plain and simple, Davis is a playmaker. He’s a 6-foot-3 receiver who can juke cornerbacks out of their cleats or decleat them with a vicious stiff arm. He has an excellent sense of his surroundings catching the football and has the ability to tack on extra yardage after every catch.

Davis is a terrific route runner and has elite body control, helping him effortlessly move in and out of his breaks. However, this is necessary because Davis doesn’t have elite speed. He won’t be running away from any corners in the pros and will have to rely on his route running and hands to gain separation at the next level.

Now about those hands. He hands are somewhat worrisome. While there are plenty that chalk his drops up to mental lapses and a phase that could pass, I’m not so sure. The player Davis is most commonly compared to is Brandon Marshall for better and for worse. Both players are big bodied, physical receivers but are prone to the most hairpulling drops. Like, wide open, ball hits you in your hands drops. Davis had 11 drops his senior year and had a 68.4% catch rate during this collegiate career. This will only start affecting Davis’ fantasy value if it becomes such a regular occurrence his playing time gets axed during the season.

But don’t let my fixation with drops get you down. Davis is a number one receiver and could realistically play in any offense. His best fit for me would be with a team looking for a possession receiver who can carry a high target load. Much like Williams, I’d start looking to draft Davis around rounds 4-5.

Davis’ College Stats

YEAR REC YDS AVG TD
YEAR REC YDS AVG TD
2013 67 941 14 6
2014 78 1408 18.1 15
2015 89 1429 16.1 12
2016 97 1500 15.5 19

Best Fantasy Fits

In the interest of not giving the exact same teams as I did with Mike Williams, I will not include any of them here. That being said, the Cardinals and Titans would be terrific fantasy locations for Corey Davis.

  • Baltimore Ravens: Now that Steve Smith has officially retired, Joe Flacco needs a new go-to receiver. Boom. Plug in Corey Davis and give him all the 101 targets Smith saw last year. No one in the fantasy world would say no to that. And Davis could handle that load. Davis would bring size and strength to a Ravens’ receiving core that, to be honest, have neither. Also pairing him with Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman (if he can stay healthy) would be an ideal situation as both those guys can take the top off a defense and allow Davis to work in the underneath. You’re welcome Flacco.
  • Chicago Bears: Now will Davis be selected number 3 overall? I doubt it. Plus, putting Davis in Chicago is tricky because Davis’ success is largely built off of Mike Glennon. And that I’m not so sure about. But, all doubt aside, Chicago needs a number one receiver badly and Davis would instantly fill that role. Much like in Baltimore, he’d pair well with the talent that the Bears already have a receiver. The ball has to go somewhere in Chicago and you can bet that if Davis could stay healthy all through his rookie year (something that seems very difficult to do out in the Windy City) he’d be the recipient to much of those balls.
  • Kansas City Chiefs: Will Davis fall to 27? Who knows, it’s the draft anything can happen. What I do know is that pairing Davis with Tyreek Hill would be a nightmare for defenses. Hill’s speed and big play ability would open up the middle of the field for Davis to do his damage. And don’t think that Davis is just an “across the middle” guy. He can also make plays down the field, particularly against smaller cornerbacks. The Chiefs’ passing attack can be fantasy viable, even with all the Alex Smith jokes. Hill finished 15th last year in total points scored by a wide receiver (138) and Jeremy Maclin is a season removed from scoring 156 total points.