2017 NFL Draft Reaction: Corey Davis Goes to the Tennessee Titans
rookie wide receiver rankings

Corey Davis was drafted fifth overall by the Tennessee Titans to be their true No. 1 wide receiver across from Rishard Matthews.

From a fantasy perspective, this hurts Matthews a lot, as it removes him from a target role that netted him a top-12 PPR finish. This also was not an ideal spot for Davis based on Kevin Cole’s opportunity scores.

We’ll get to more of that in a minute. First, let’s take a look at your new Tennessee Titans WR in Davis.

Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 6-3, 209

Final Age: 21.9   Vert: N/A   Cone: N/A

Raw and Market Share College Production

Year Rec Yds Avg TD msYD msTD
2013 67 941 14 6 0.37 0.5
2014 78 1408 18.1 15 0.41 0.58
2015 89 1429 16.1 12 0.39 0.40
2016 97 1500 15.5 19 0.42 0.58
Career 331 5278 15.9 52 0.40 0.51

From 2017 NFL Draft: Advanced Stats for the Senior Wide Receivers.

Nothing screams consistently elite like a career yardage share of 40 percent and a TD share over 50. To do it on the back of 5,278 yards and 52 TDs is ungodly. These are Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, and Dez Bryant numbers.

Let’s look at his production comps using the Box Score Scout.

Corey Davis comps

Davis is an elite prospect from the lower ranks of college football. Many of his comps have consistently reached the WR1 level in the NFL, and the top three comps have all been elite dynasty assets. Now let’s consider Davis’ short and long-term fantasy value, and discuss how his presence will affect the rest of the Titans skill players.

Davis ranked first overall in our final RotoViz Scouting Index, and also came in as the clear WR1 in our RotoViz pre-draft rookie rankings.

He posted a Phenom Index Score of 2.214, 11th highest in this class. Jon Moore notes that, had he came out of school as a junior, he would have the third-highest PI score. Among 2017, Davis’ score ranks slightly better than John Ross and Chris Godwin, while it is slightly behind Krishawn Hogan and Isaiah Ford.

In my NFL Draft preview of Davis, I noted how good he was against the Power Five in his career.

2013Michigan State89610.50.51922
2015Michigan State1015410.420.53672
2015Ohio State64200.2501680
Total9 Games5270150.380.50183510

Despite his small-school pedigree, Davis was great against major competition. If you compared his career market share against the Power Five to the final-year market share of every WR taken in the first round since 2011, Davis would rank sixth out of 26 players.

Overall, Davis is clearly the best WR prospect in this class.

Player Outlook

While Matthews was very impressive in his first year with Tennessee, spending a top-five pick on Davis signifies that they expect him to be a major target from day one of his NFL career. Here’s a brief look at what top-five WRs have done in their rookie seasons since 2000.

Amari Cooper2015OAK161307210706215.013.4
Sammy Watkins2014BUF16128659826199.212.5
Justin Blackmon2012JAX16132648655180.511.3
A.J. Green2011CIN151156510577212.714.2
Calvin Johnson2007DET1593487564147.69.8
Braylon Edwards2005CLE1059325123101.210.1
Larry Fitzgerald2004ARI16115587808184.011.5
Andre Johnson2003HOU16119669764187.611.7
Charles Rogers2003DET55222243364.312.9
Peter Warrick2000CIN16126515924134.28.4

If Davis is an upper-echelon talent, he has a real shot to be a top-30 WR as a rookie. This is an excellent group to be a part of, with names like Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and A.J. Green on the list. Note that those players were also top comps in the Box Score Scout.

Rookies tend to be overdrafted in re-draft and best-ball formats, and I think Davis makes for a solid avoid there. Especially with the Titans only throwing the ball 504 times in 2016, it is fair to wonder if there will be enough volume to support Davis, Matthews, and Delanie Walker right away. The team would have to show a greater dependency on young stud QB Marcus Mariota for Davis to hit his ceiling. In dynasty rookie drafts, I believe Davis is the clear 1.01.

Team Outlook

This is obviously a huge win for Mariota, who now has a receiving group competent enough for him to truly ascend in the fantasy QB ranks. Matthews goes from potential WR1 to a WR3 with WR2 upside. Walker’s role as Mariota’s safety blanket is probably safe, but may lose some volume now that a dominant player is in the mix. If the team truly adopts a more pass-heavy approach, that will have a negative effect on RBs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry.


Davis is an elite prospect who landed in a situation that is a little more cluttered than we would like. If Tennessee becomes a little more exotic and a little less smash mouth, he could produce in a big way right away. It’s when, not if, Davis becomes a WR1 in my opinion.

Find all of our 2017 NFL draft reaction content here.

Additional Research

The Phenom Index – Jon Moore combines age and market share of receiving yards into a single number. Historical success rates are provided, and scores for the 2017 draft class can be compared to those from previous years.

Jim Kloet provides context, graphing WR college market shares by age.

Josh Hermsmeyer calculated dominator ratings for all of this year’s prospects.1

See for Yourself

  1. Dominator rating is the average of a player’s market share of receiving yards and market share of receiving touchdowns. In terms of predicting NFL success, any number over 0.50 projects as an NFL superstar or top 10 overall pick value. Scores from 0.45-0.50 are excellent (roughly Top 15 pick value), 0.40-0.45 very good (Top 20 pick), 0.35-0.40 (late first, early second), 0.30-0.35 (second round to third round), below 0.30 (middle round pick).  (back)

Anthony Amico

Anthony is a football coach who possesses two different mathematics degrees. He uses his combined knowledge in those two fields to attack the fantasy landscape across a variety of formats, including daily fantasy, dynasty, and 2QB. He lives to be contrarian. In addition to RotoViz, Anthony is currently a contributor for Fantasy Insiders, TwoQBs, and numberFire.
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