Tennessee Titans rookie wide receiver Corey Davis gave Titans fans and the entire nation a glimpse of his potential in his first NFL game. Davis hauled in 6 passes for 69 yards against the Oakland Raiders after returning from a hamstring injury that held him out of training camp and the entire preseason. Davis just started practicing again last week and wasn’t even 100% going into the Titans opener. 6 catches for 69 yards is a pretty good NFL debut for a guy not at full health.
The Titans selected Davis with the fifth pick in this year’s draft out of Western Michigan University. Davis played four seasons at Western Michigan and collected some pretty eye popping stats in his college career. Davis’s senior year stats were his best out of all his college seasons as he had 97 receptions, 1,500 yards receiving, and had an incredible 19 touchdowns. Davis holds the record for the most receiving yards ever by a college receiver with 5,278 yards. After four seasons at Western Michigan Davis added 331 receptions and 52 touchdowns to his eye popping yardage totals.
Davis was the first receiver off the board in this years draft and was drafted ahead of other touted receivers Mike Williams and John Ross. Davis had ankle surgery in January after injuring himself training, which forced him to miss the combine and prevented him from doing workouts with teams prior to the draft. The Titans didn’t seem to care though as they took Davis in the top five and made him the first MAC receiver drafted in the first round since Randy Moss.
Some of the great traits that Davis posses is his size and strength. Davis is a 6’3” 209 pound big body receiver who has the ability to play in the slot and outside. One of the best traits Davis has is his route running ability and his ability to go up and make a play. This play was from week one and was his first NFL catch:
Corey Davis' 1st NFL catch 👀 pic.twitter.com/kpOE1GzAAl
— NFL Outsiders (@nfloutsiders) September 10, 2017
Davis runs a great wheel route down the sideline and makes a tough contested catch against a good corner in David Amerson. Davis’s ability to make the catch, control it to the ground, and the ability to stay in bounds is pretty spectacular. Davis was only 90% in this game and still showed the ability to create separation and give quarterback Marcus Mariota a nice easy target to throw to. This highlight reel shows every catch Davis had week one and every target that was thrown his way:
Davis is great in the open field and possesses the ability to get a lot of yards after the catch. One thing he needs to work on though is his connection with quarterback Marcus Mariota. As the video shows, Davis continued his route far too long sometimes and Mariota threw the ball behind Davis after expecting Davis to sit in the soft spot of the zone. That comes with time though and can be a factor of Davis missing almost all of training camp. It’s definitely something Davis will need to improve on and that extra time to work with Mariota during practice should help clean that issue right up.
All in all, Davis showed great potential in week one and showed why the Titans made him the fifth pick in the draft. His big play ability makes him one of the most exciting rookies to watch in the NFL and he’ll certainly be a big factor in whether or not the Titans will have success this season. What Davis gives the Titans is that #1 receiver they haven’t had in a long time and it gives Marcus Mariota a go-to guy when they need to make a play. After one week Davis has shown that he belongs in the NFL and has flashed the ability to be one of the most dynamic receivers in the NFL sooner rather than later.