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Corey Davis might be the best receiver in the NFL draft, drops and all

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There’s something familiar about the Western Michigan product, says retired NFL defensive end Stephen White.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Wisconsin vs Western Michigan Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Fitzgerald? Not exactly.

Dez Bryant? Hmmm, nah.

Ok, I got it. Terrell Owens. Nope.

And then it hits me, Brandon Marshall!

Fucking bingo!!!

That was my thought process as I watched Corey Davis' film, initially.

Davis is a big, strong, physical receiver, who is also explosive and has really good hands, but he is going to have the occasional "concentration drop."

Now, would that be a scouting report on a young Brandon Marshall or Corey Davis?*

*It’s a trick question because that scouting report would accurately describe both.

For Davis, the first thing that jumped off the screen to me was his physicality. That's what had me in the mindset of guys like Fitz and Dez. Then I saw the drops, and that put me more in the mindset of TO. But the more I watched, the more Davis just started to look like a young Brandon Marshall on the field to me.

The quickness in and out of his breaks on several comeback routes.

His run-after-catch ability.

Those nasty stiff arms he kept handing out.

His ability to get deep in a hurry.

His ability to be a physically dominant blocker.

Making difficult, contested catches look routine.

And, yes, his ability to also have the occasional groan inducing drop.

Corey Davis might as well be young Brandon Marshall's long lost twin on the field.

This kid, man ... When he is on, he is friggin amazing on a football field!

He is also going to prolly have at least one concentration drop a game, as he did in the five games that I watched for this breakdown. That's the trade-off, and it’s not about how he catches the football. His hands are usually in great position. It’s just sometimes they fail him.

Just like Brandon Marshall.

When he does catch the football, however?


Let me put it simply, if the ball is in the vicinity your ass is grass. Unless he drops it.


I saw five different teams try all kinds of combination coverages on this kid and he still ended up with 44 catches and six touchdowns just in the games I watched. That's a whole season's worth of production for some cats!

Even when he wasn't catching the ball there were times were he drew so much coverage that the opposing defense left one of his teammates wide ass open.

Yes, I said times with an “s.”

Without access to the all-22, I can't be sure what Davis' quarterback was seeing against Wisconsin in their bowl game, but it appeared that there were more opportunities to get him the ball. I feel like if Davis had seen the ball more in that game, then his team may well have ended their season undefeated.

But hey, he can't throw it to himself. As it was he was still damn productive.

Oh, he caught this ridiculous ass touchdown, too.

The kid just makes it look so easy. That is when he isn't trying to stiff arm somebody's face off.

Gotta say, I don't even think Laquon Treadwell last year gave as many guys the business after catching the football as I saw Davis dish out in five games. What I love about Davis is that he tries to be the hammer rather than the nail in just about every situation.

If there is a blow that's going to be handed out, he is generally going to try to get his in first. And if there is any way to gain another yard on a play, he is damn sure going to try to get it.

Doesn't that remind you of somebody?

A young Brandon Marshall perhaps?

Now, you can't just totally disregard the drops because sometimes those drops are going to be on what should be a big play. But you just have to rely on the law of averages with this kid that if he gets a drop, he is likely going to bounce back and make a big catch later.

That was another important thing I noticed from his tape. Davis will drop a few, yes, but the kid is resilient. Given a chance to redeem himself, he usually came through.

Say it with me guys: just like a young Brandon Marshall!

Sometimes fate can be a tricky thing. I watched Davis against Wisconsin, Ohio, Buffalo, and Georgia Southern and was trying to pick between Akron and Ball State for the fifth game. Having not watched much college football at all last season, I had no idea which was the better team, nor which had the better secondary, so I just flipped a coin and it came up for Ball State.

I'm not sure Davis could've had a game that more clearly showcased the Marshall comparison than the game he had against Ball State.

The guy goes out there and houses a catch on a post route early on for a touchdown and the crowd goes wild!

Then, just a little while later, he's in position to catch another long touchdown and bury his opponents early.

Instead he just flat out dropped it.

As I said before, groan inducing.

I’m sure if we had sound for this GIF *side eyes vine* you would hear the crowd going ah ah ah aH aH aH AH AH AH AH AH AH AH AH ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. SMDH.

But then he bounces back from that and Moss' the shit out of a Ball State DB for his second touchdown of the day.

And to top it off, he caught a skinny post from the slot and then made the whole secondary look like Keystone Kops on the way to another long touchdown.

Tell me that didn't look like a young Brandon Marshall out there.

With one important distinction — I didn't see Davis getting any stupid penalties on his team.

Oh, he would block the hell out of defensive backs, and he wasn't above a blindside hit or two.

He might even talk shit a li’l bit after an unwarranted hit.

But Davis displays more and better self control on the field than even a veteran Brandon Marshall. And that is not to knock Marshall, because I think it’s admirable that not only did he get help for his mental health issues, but that he is now also an outspoken advocate of other guys doing so — which we all know had been taboo in macho sports like football for far too long.

I'm just pointing out that when I say you're getting a young Brandon Marshall on the field with Davis, its actually without some of penalties and stuff that come with having Marshall on your team.

Who wouldn't want that, drops and all?

I liked Mike Williams' tape a lot. I loved what I watched Davis do on tape. I think of the two Davis is more explosive, has better hands, is slightly more physical and is better running with the ball out in space. Maybe the only area I might give Williams the edge is in the subtle pushoffs to get separation, but that edge would be razor thin.

Davis can do it all. He did a really good job of being sudden and using his hands well to get off press coverage at the line and create separation against man-to-man. The kid can do it all. I still think Williams is definitely a first-round talent, but I would prefer Davis over him.

The only problem is that he had ankle surgery after the season and so he won't be able to do any workouts before the draft. That means this all comes down to his medicals. If the doctors say his ankle is going to be straight, then if I need a wide receiver in this draft and Williams and Davis are both still on the board, it’s a no-brainer for Davis. I just saw him make so many special plays with the ball in his hand that Davis is pretty close to bust proof in my eyes, even with the drops. Hell, if he can't catch just give it to him on end arounds, speed sweeps, and screens.

But let's be clear, he can catch. And the truth is he could get better with his concentration drops. And if he does ...

Think Brandon Marshall Version II, The Upgrade.

Now can anybody tell me how in thee hell he ended up at Western Michigan in the first place?

Since I don't have access to all-22 for college football games, I use the next best thing for my draft profiles and go to Draft Breakdown where they the TV copy of a bunch of top prospects already cut up and ready to go. Also, their site is compatible with the new NoHuddle app which turns your cell phone into a "cowboy clicker" which is pretty damn neat. For the purposes of this breakdown I watched Western Michigan WR Corey Davis against Georgia Southern, Ball State, Buffalo, Ohio and Wisconsin. Those represented the fourth, ninth, 11th, 13th and 14th games on Western Michigan's schedule last season, respectively.