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- Position: Wide Receiver (WR)
- Class: Senior
- College: UNLV
- Ht/Wt: 6'3", 220 pounds
Buffalo's quest for a big-bodied, physical receiver is now in its sixth year running since the departure of Terrell Owens. Is Devante Davis a worthy candidate?
He's definitely built like Owens. Davis flashes outstanding ability at the catch point to separate and snag the football. He tracks the ball very well, making contested catches even when a defender is standing between him and the pass. After the catch, he works aggressively downfield, using his stiff arm effectively.
While he's gifted with size and toughness, Davis doesn't have great athleticism for a receiver. His 4.57-second 40-yard dash suggests that he won't be able to win deep separation in man coverage, and he's missing the top level of explosion that you'd see in some of the more highly touted receivers. One thing that makes it tough when evaluating how well Davis can separate is that he has never had a great quarterback throwing him the ball. He often had to adjust to poorly-thrown passes, although he more often than not got his hands on them. Still, while he navigates around defenders with great awareness, he does seem to be lacking the sudden movement that would help him beat a corner off the line of scrimmage. And while he uses his hands well to fight for separation, he's still in a tier below guys like Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin, who simply physically dominate their opponents.
Davis has a good build as a run blocker, and flashes the ability to drive players far away, but usually he only manages to pop defenders once before they break free. One other area that will concern some scouts is how Davis recovered from a wrist injury that significantly lowered his impact in several games this season, and caused him to miss a few. He looked fine at the Combine, for what it's worth.
I liked watching Davis make plays, and I wish I had more tape of him to watch. I imagine that the more contested catches I watch him make, the higher his grade would rise. Right now, I have him as a fourth-round pick. I can see some clear skills, and I can see some clear limitations. But there are parts of his game, like how he runs his routes, which could improve and make him a dangerous receiver. In another deep receiver class, I think he's a name to keep an eye on.