In the days and weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, CardinalsSource will profile 30 draft prospects who could end up making their way to Arizona this offseason.
Player: Corey Davis
Weight: 209 pounds
Arm length: 33 inches
Hand size: 9 1/8 inches
College stats: 2013: 67 receptions, 941 yards, six touchdowns, 2014: 78 receptions, 1,408 yards, 15 touchdowns, 2015: 89 receptions, 1,429 yards, 12 touchdowns, 2016: 97 receptions, 1,500 yards, 19 touchdowns
Strengths: There's not going to be a more productive wide receiver available in this year's NFL Draft, simply because there's never been a more productive receiver at the FBS level than Western Michigan's Corey Davis. Davis has all the tools to develop into a true No. 1 threat for an NFL franchise, and could be the first receiver off the board in this April's Draft. Davis is as fundamentally sounds as any of the top receivers in this year's draft, and with the Broncos, demonstrated an ability to run all sorts of routes and catch passes at every level of the field. For his size at 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds, Davis also has outstanding speed and had no trouble breaking away from defenders after catching the ball in the open field. Even though he's not a super explosive player, you can still throw Davis screens and watch him go to work because if he makes the first man miss, he's able to pick up speed in a hurry and outrun defenses thanks to an impressive feel for blocking schemes and outstanding anticipation skills. One of the traits we picked up on early in Davis' film were his natural instincts for the game, and how he translates those instincts into production when he's moving with the ball in space. Some players just have a knack for finding holes in defenses, and Davis is certainly one of those players.
Weaknesses: Davis doesn't have many weaknesses --which is why he's considered an elite talent-- but he does appear to run harder, faster and more purposefully when he has the ball in his hands. What this means is that Davis isn't as controlled during his routes as he is when he's running after the catch, and the NFL is all about precision. When Davis is playing on Sundays, he's going to need to use his speed to create separation from cornerbacks before the ball is in the air, and he doesn't do this as well as someone like Washington's John Ross. Davis' film reveals he has all the ability in the world to correct some of the mistakes he's making on his routes, so when he's playing against elite defensive backs as opposed to those he faced in the MAC, it will be interesting to see how his game develops. Additionally, there aren't an abundant amount of clips available to judge Davis' blocking skills, so though we can't characterize his blocking as a weakness, it remains an uncertainty.
Davis' fit: We like Davis better than Mike Williams even though Williams played in the ACC and in a Clemson offense that had other weapons and wasn't as dependent on his skill set. At the college level, Davis continually raised the bar and couldn't be stopped, even when opposing defenses knew Western Michigan was intent on getting him the ball. The variety of routes he ran and the second-gear which he consistently displayed should translate easily to the NFL, and should make Davis a candidate to start for an NFL team from day one. Davis also looks like the type of player who could benefit from learning under Larry Fitzgerald, because he has a large set of tremendous tools yet still has a high ceiling to continue pushing toward. While Williams should also grow into a No. 1 receiver, Davis might be an even better complement to the Cardinals' offense in its current form because he's so versatile and should become an instant asset in the red zone, something the team is certainly looking for in this year's draft.