Corey Davis was almost destined to fall on his face in 2018 after all the hype surrounding him. It almost seemed poetic that he suffered through a nagging hamstring injury and never really got going. Davis underachieved just enough to lose confidence of many an analyst. However, Davis also flashed enough of what he was capable of to make the tongues of NFL fanatics dance behind their lips. One common theme to all of this is just how small of a sample size there was. With a changing of the guard this offseason there is more uncertainty than ever. On the flip side, maybe theres already enough to know what to expect.
Spreading and Dominating
Corey Davis thriving in a spread, play action offense is an understatement. Davis absolutely dominated the college game… so much so that he finished as the NCAA’s all time leader in receiving yards with 5278. He dominated across the middle, in the red zone, and along the seams. Davis became the clear cut number one wide receiver at Western Michigan after his promising freshman season. Throughout his three seasons as at the top dog, Davis never had less than 12 touchdowns and 1400 receiving yards.
Projecting forward to Davis’ much anticipated sophomore season lets turn our attention to Offensive Coordinator Matt LaFleur’s offensive scheme. LaFleur has been very vocal stating that he intends to implement a more spread, play-action offense. These words were music to the ears of Davis, who said in January he couldn’t wait to get started. Look for LaFleur to utilize Davis similarly to how he was used in college. Davis will likely face a heavy target load and plenty of red zone looks.
Image courtesy of the Associated Press
It isn’t enough to have a favorable scheme and the talent to dominate. Factors like chemistry and strength of schedule play a role in player production. Fortunately for Davis, his 2018 schedule is not very intimidating. Davis faces the 15th easiest projected wide receiver schedule in 2018. While there are a few matchups that could give cause for pause, Davis should be able to dominate with his size and athleticism.
Health and Chemistry
Corey Davis is healthy this offseason. That’s right, there are no hamstring issues currently inhibiting his practice reps. Marcus Mariota is healthy this offseason as well, something else that was not the case last season. Davis and Mariota have already begun developing a connection on the practice field. Look for this connection to continue to strengthen as the offseason continues.
Look for Davis to improve drastically across the board from last season. My early 2018 projections for Davis are:
85 rec for 975 yards and 7 touchdowns