This Christmas Eve, Western Michigan will travel to Nassau to take on Middle Tennessee State in the 2015 Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl. Where your eyes should be traveling, however, is to wherever Corey Davis lines up for the Broncos. Davis has all of the numbers that make him a soon-to-be RotoViz darling.
The Freshest of Freshmen
As Rotoviz has mentioned time and time again, age matters at the wide receiver position. We should be drawn to receivers whose talent as freshmen demanded not only playing time, but targets. As the 2013 MAC Freshman of the Year, Corey Davis fits the bill.
Davis’ 941 receiving yards accounted for a 37.2 percent market share in his team’s offense. Albeit six touchdowns aren’t an insane amount, they were half of what his quarterbacks were able to throw for during the 2013 season. These two statistics combine to give Davis a 43.6 Dominator Rating as an 18 year old. Take a look at this (slightly edited) image I stole from one of James Todd’s articles visualizing the breakout age and dominator ratings of what is now known as arguably the best wide receiver class of all time:
Of course, the level of competition in the MAC is subpar in comparison to Jordan Matthews in the SEC and Allen Robinson in the Big Ten, but an outlier such as Davis deserves a long, hard look. I also find it interesting that Davis was able to perform at such a high level as a freshman after only being a “2-star” recruit out of high school. While I don’t buy into the high school rating system very much, it does show that Davis was not expected to walk into a locker room filled with crappy wide receivers and start dominating.
Body of Work
After an impressive freshman season, Davis continued to perform at an outstanding level as a sophomore. Looking at the target information below from NCAAsavant.com, Davis was tied for first in the MAC in receiving touchdowns. Interestingly enough, one of the players he was tied with his brother, Titus Davis, who was an UDFA last year and signed by the Chargers:
What about this current season? Continued success. I pulled this screenshot from footballstudyhall.com:
You’ll notice this year, Davis is not even the best receiver on his team statistically. Rest assured, he is the best receiver on his team overall. I looked up some of Daniel Braverman’s highlights and he is a short, shifty slot receiver whose production is a significant part of Western’s offensive scheme. Davis’ yards and receptions are almost all earned while fighting on the outside against team’s best cornerbacks.
Corey Davis is listed at 6 – 3 and 205 pounds. That’s pretty appealing to NFL and fantasy GMs alike. How quickly can he move that type of size? That is yet to be determined. I don’t trust any of the speed and agility measurables floating around the internet until the prospect has gone through the NFL Combine. However, even if the Western Michigan Broncos’ website is being generous, Davis certainly has the size to be an effective red zone target in the NFL. James Todd wrote a great article highlighting size of NFL receivers that is worth checking out while evaluating all wideout prospects from this upcoming draft class. It should also be noted that his head coach, P.J. Fleck, was a wide receivers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which has reportedly shown in Davis’ route running. These are nuggets that help draft stocks rise during the long winter months leading up to April.
The RotoViz Scouting Index currently has Davis pegged as the 16th best wide receiver. Although the Western Michigan football team’s mantra is “Row the Boat,” I’m hoping Davis decides to jump ship after the Bahamas bowl and swim into Day 2 of the NFL Draft. If Davis can run a sub 4.5 40 at the combine, the hype will begin nationwide.