Every dynasty owner is looking for that diamond in the rough. One such wide receiver in the 2015 rookie draft could be UNLV’s Davante Davis. I got to see him in Mobile during the beginning of the Senior Bowl week, but he left due to injury. After consulting my practice notes and watching games against Northern Illinois and Nevada, there was enough to evaluate what skills and attributes Davis can bring to the next level. Here are my thoughts:
WR Devante Davis, UNLV 6’ 3” 220 lbs.
Cons: The receiver is very raw and did not run precise routes. UNLV is not known to be a football powerhouse, so the level of coaching and instruction would not come close to what he would have gotten in a major college program. Davis doesn’t use his size to his advantage and lets the ball get into his body. He needs to do a better job of shielding defensive backs from the ball with his big frame.
The wide out has a bad habit of trying to make one-handed catches or batting the ball around until he secures the pigskin. This makes it easier for defenders to either intercept or knock the ball away. Davis does not come down with many uncontested receptions as he struggles to get separation. In Mobile, the receiver had issues with drops and getting outmuscled by smaller defensive backs. For a receiver his size, Davis went down a lot with arm tackles, which makes some question his power.
Pros: Davis gets off the line of scrimmage with a nice punch and quick feet. He can catch the ball at its highest point and contorts his body to make difficult receptions with good concentration. The wide out does a good job of finding the ball in the air and attacking it, making it his. When he gets to the ball in stride, Davis will use double moves, and then scream down the sideline for huge chunks of yards.
The receiver ran a decent route tree with bubble screens, hooks, crosses, comebacks, and deeper routes. He is willing to catch the ball in the middle of the field and take a pounding from double coverage. Davis has good foot speed to make the first man miss and uses a mean stiff-arm to smash defenders. The wide out is a good red zone threat especially at the back of the end zone. Although he needs some work as a run blocker, the effort and desire are there to improve.
Overall thoughts: The rookie reminds me a bit of the Steelers Martavis Bryant with his big body and downfield threat ability. He will need a lot of coaching, but the physical attributes are there. Don’t be fooled by his long striding 4.57 forty yard speed, he will get after it once the ball is in the air. Grab him towards the end of the third or early fourth in rookie drafts.