Corey Davis, the Western Michigan Wide Receiver, is the all time leader in NCAA FBS receiving yards, at 5,285. A four year starter, Davis dominated the MAC conference and the NCAA all four of his seasons. Davis had a troubled upbringing with family issues and academic problems in high school, but by the time he got to Western Michigan, he had all of that in the rear view mirror as he embarked on a new stage of his life. Davis is projected to be one of the first receivers taken in this draft, and is viewed by many as one of the best overall prospects coming out this year. Corey Davis, if drafted to the Ravens, would make a great addition to an offense that needs revitalizing.
As I evaluated Corey Davis, I was reminded of a former Ravens receiver that has been very much missed since his departure. That receiver is Torrey Smith. The way both of these receivers play is very similar, and it struck me as soon as I started watching tape that they were so similar. One of the best attributes of Corey Davis is his speed. He is not the fastest receiver in this draft, but he still has elite speed, and can outrun defenders very easily. He uses this speed to become the best deep threat on the field for the offense, and once he beats a corner or safety deep, it is almost impossible to stop a huge gain if not a touchdown. When the ball is thrown to him, his ability to use his hands and catch really shows off. He is able to bring the ball in and make a contested catch if needed, which makes for some great highlight reels. He also is able to attack the ball, and track it well in the air, beating defenders to the ball, and make big plays. He also is a good route runner, and can go really anywhere on the field and make a play. He is also solid at juking out defenders, and opening up lanes for himself to run. He was a consistent, durable player for four straight years for Western Michigan, and was praised by his coaches for his work ethic and attitude, both on and off the football field. Finally, he was able to help bring Western Michigan, a small MAC Conference school to an undefeated regular season in 2016 and a Cotton Bowl appearance, a major feat for a school not typically known for its football program.
Corey Davis is a great player, and only has two major question marks around his play style. Davis at his time at Western Michigan occasionally dropped the ball, 16 times over his last 3 seasons. He also was never put into any major blocking situations, so his blocking abilities are currently unknown.
His Fit on the Ravens
If the Ravens pull the trigger on Corey Davis, it will be an instant upgrade for a position with some question marks coming into the 2017 campaign. With the retirement of Steve Smith Sr., and the offensive struggles of last season, the Ravens will be looking to add playmakers to the squad. The Ravens would need to spend their first round pick to get Davis, so they will have to be 100% sure that this is the player they want. With so many other needs for the Ravens, especially on defense, drafting Davis might be a long shot. However, if Ozzie Newsome sees Davis as the best overall prospect on the board when it’s time to pick at number 16 overall, he will probably do it. Davis could easily add back what Torrey Smith was for the Ravens, and complement Mike Wallace well.
Overall, I give Corey Davis a solid 4.6/5.0 prospect rating. His four year dominance at Western Michigan is outstanding. His ability to burn defenders deep and make plays is huge, and would add a whole new dimension to the Ravens passing attack. It will be interesting to see if Baltimore drafts him, or if they will grab someone else with this pick. Davis is going to be a monster in the NFL, and if the Ravens draft him, they will not regret it.