The mock draft season is in full swing, and wide receiver is among the positions being projected as the Bengals’ first-round pick.
Clemson’s Mike Williams has been the receiver most commonly mocked to the Bengals at No. 9. However, there’s a decent chance Williams is off the board then, which is the scenario Pro Football Focus has playing out in their latest mock draft.
In that mock, PFF still thinks taking a receiver at No. 9 is the best pick for the Bengals, and they have Western Michigan’s record-breaking receiver being the pick.
9. Cincinnati Bengals - Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Every offense works more efficiently with strong playmakers, but Cincinnati was notably lacking after losing WR Marvin Jones to free agency and TE Tyler Eifert missing much of the season due to injury. WR A.J. Green was his usual elite self on the outside, but adding a complement should be a primary goal for the Bengals this offseason. Davis fits the bill as an excellent route runner capable of creating separation and creating big plays after the catch (averaged 8.1 yards after the catch per reception last three years) and down the field. Davis brings an immediate upgrade to the Bengals’ offense whose best bet is to load up with playmakers for QB Andy Dalton in order to maximize their pass game.
On the surface, it looks unwise for the Bengals to spend the No. 9 pick on a wide receiver with other pressing needs, not to mention one from a school like Western Michigan of all places.
But don’t mistake Davis from just some small-school receiver putting up big numbers against inferior competition. He’s easily one of, if not the best receiver prospect in this draft, which is why PFF has him as the second receiver to go off the board (Clemson’s Mike Williams goes No. 5 to Titans).
As a true freshman at Western Michigan in 2013, Davis set school freshman records with 67 grabs for 941 yards to go with six touchdowns. As a sophomore in 2014, he had 78 catches for 1,408 yards and 15 scores.
During his junior year in 2015, Davis had 90 grabs for 1,436 yards and 12 scores. This past season, Davis racked up 97 catches for 1,500 yards (15.9 avg.) and 19 more scores.
Against Toledo on Nov. 25, Davis became the all-time FBS leader in receiving yards, breaking the record held by Nevada's Trevor Insley.
Simply put, Davis was a stud against whoever he went up against, and it will be no surprise seeing him hear his name called early in this year’s draft. No. 9 might be a little high, but if the Bengals want another game-breaking receiver, Davis may very well be the guy to take there.