Former Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis is climbing up draft boards as the end of the month nears and the Cincinnati Bengals are a potential landing spot for the savvy receiver.
The Bengals could certainly be lured in by Davis’ elite route-running and red zone ability, which helped him catch 97 passes for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2016. That, after a 90 catch, 1,436 yard and 12 touchdown season in 2015 and a 78 catch, 1,408 yard and 15 touchdown season in 2014. Even as a freshman in 2013 he impressed with 67 catches for 941 yards and 6 touchdowns. That’s highly notable and consistent production and it has Davis in the conversation for being the best receiver in this year’s draft class.
With A.J. Green on one side, the Bengals need a complement to what he brings as a downfield threat. Last season, they tried to make due with Brandon LaFell and rookie Tyler Boyd, but the offense felt the effects of losing Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu to free agency, especially given QB Andy Dalton’s success in 2015, when he had the best statistical season of his career.
Davis can effectively work the short and intermediate level of the field, using his sharp route-running to separate against man coverage and his savviness to find open holes in zones. With Davis on one side, Green can do his usual work at the intermediate and deep levels while Boyd can continue to progress in his role in the slot. Davis to the Bengals is one of the best fits in the entire draft.
The Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills are the two other teams that PFF believes would be among the best fits for Davis. The Titans have the No. 5 and No. 18 picks in the draft while the Bills hold the No. 10 selection in Round 1.
But even if Davis is a good fit for Cincinnati, would using the No. 9 overall pick on him be a valuable selection? On Mel Kiper's latest big board, Davis is the 17th ranked prospect. Walter Football has him ranked 29th, CBS Sports has him ranked 22nd and Sporting News has him ranked 20th. So, it seems Davis would be a reach for the Bengals when the team is on the clock with the ninth pick. If the Bengals really want Davis, maybe they would trade back to get him. Though, the team already has 11 picks, so utilizing the best player available strategy — which they typically follow — may be the best bet. That’s unless the Bengals have Davis ranked higher than most and believe he truly is a top 10 talent.
Would you be happy to see the Bengals select Davis in Round 1? The thought of Davis, Green and Tyler Eifert on the field at the same time should be a pretty exciting one for Bengals fan.