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2018 Buffalo Bills scouting report: cornerback Vontae Davis

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If the veteran can stay healthy, he is a legitimate NFL stud

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Head coach Sean McDermott revamped the secondary almost immediately upon his arrival with the Buffalo Bills. Gone were all four starters plus the nickel cornerback from Rex Ryan’s 2016 defense, and in their place were five new faces who outperformed the men they replaced by a great deal. In 2018, the Bills will return three of the five players who filled those same roles in 2017, but a veteran acquisition has the potential to make this iteration of the Buffalo secondary significantly better than the last.

In the latest installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we look at a veteran cornerback with the potential to make this Bills’ secondary truly elite.

Name: Vontae Davis

Number: 22

Position: CB

Height/Weight: 5’11” 207 lbs.

Age: 30

Experience: 9

College: Illinois

Draft: Drafted in the first round (25th overall) by the Miami Dolphins in the 2009 NFL Draft

Financial situation (per Spotrac): Davis signed a one-year deal that could net him $5 million in 2018. His salary cap hit for the season will be $4,312,500.

2017 Recap: By any measure, 2017 was a disaster for Davis. He played in 5 games for the Indianapolis Colts, making 21 total tackles and adding two passes defended. The 2017 season was the first in which Davis did not intercept a pass in his professional career. After a November 5 game against the Houston Texans, a game for which Davis was benched, the player went public with his frustration and was subsequently released. Davis said that he was trying to play through a groin injury, but Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said that Davis’s benching was “non-injury related.” Davis had surgery for a groin tear in the offseason.

Positional outlook: If healthy, Davis looks to be the clear CB2 alongside starter Tre’Davious White. Phillip Gaines has the potential to play both inside and outside corner. Breon Borders and Lafayette Pitts were both on Buffalo’s roster last season, though only Pitts saw game action. Rookies Taron Johnson, Levi Wallace, and Ryan Carter round out the positional group.

2018 Offseason: Davis has been the first-team corner across from White, as was expected when he signed with Buffalo.

2018 season outlook: If healthy, Davis gives the Bills an elite option across from White. After allowing E.J. Gaines, whose 2017 was also marred by injuries, to leave via free agency, the Bills are certainly hoping that they will be able to “set and forget” their defensive lineup this year. His excellent read-and-react skills (as Skarekrow highlighted here upon Davis’s signing) combined with his still-excellent athleticism should make 2018 a nice bounce-back year for the former first round pick.