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NFL 2020 Draft, college film analysis: Gabriel Davis

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We hit the film on the latest Buffalo Bills additions—next up wide receiver Gabriel Davis

Before the draft even began, Buffalo Bills fans rejoiced at the use of a first-round pick to acquire Stefon Diggs via trade. Adding an elite wide receiver was seen as a must and Diggs is a proven player. The Bills weren’t done though, adding Gabriel Davis out of UCF. Let’s hit the couch film room.


Play 1

There are lots of ways a receiver can gain separation and stopping on a dime to curl back is a nice one to have in the toolbox. Gabriel Davis has solid brakes as shown here. It’s a little harder to see with the distance but it’s a good catch with the hands and he fights to stay up.

Play 2

The sudden flip of the hips at the top helps make a sharp cut. Based on the path Davis takes, it’s a safe bet the route was supposed to flatten right around the ten as he cut across, which is a bit past the sticks. The precision of the path is nice to see, but you may notice he comes back a touch to make the catch. The throw looks a little high and Davis tracks it well enough to go get it.

Play 3

There are two things I like about Gabriel Davis’ game that are shown here. The hesitation move allows him to create space on a defensive back he might not win a race against. Additionally, the pass drifts and carries Davis to the sideline but he tracks it well. I’ll ruin the ending for you. He doesn’t tap the toe, which is fine here, but might cause thrown remotes in the NFL.

Play 4

This is similar to the last play, but the ending is better. The main thing to watch here is how well he maintains speed while tracking the ball.

Play 5

This is the third similar hesitation move, but here Gabriel Davis uses it to allow the defender past him and block for his teammate. Davis has solid hand position and is tenacious with the block, allowing for an easy score behind him. Did he look “Robert Woods” good? No. Good enough to make me bring up Robert Woods? Yes.

Play 6

Gabriel Davis loves to throw in choppy steps, especially when starting off the line. For this play, Davis uses a swipe to get the defensive back to react. The extended hand can also be used to maintain distance. Another good stop leads to a catch with his hands and a fast turn.

Play 7

And this basically concludes the route tree that Gabriel Davis put on display. He’s effective with what he does though, and like most trees there’s hope it can grow. This pass is a bit faster coming in, which is important to see Davis handle when Josh Allen is the next quarterback he’ll be catching a ball from.

Play 8

Body control and fight. That’s what this GIF is here for. The brakes Davis showed off in earlier plays help him stay in bounds. and he fights for every yard he can get. Davis isn’t able to plow through opponents based on the reviewed games, but has the mentality to give it a go. With an NFL conditioning program it’ll be interesting to see how his fight progresses.

Play 9

That same fight can lead to good results in press coverage as Gabriel Davis isn’t shy about throwing his hands up to ward off a defender and get rolling.


Summary

Gabriel Davis plays larger than his 6’2” (or 6’3” according to some sites) frame would suggest. Davis is comparable in size to Zay Jones, but plays taller thanks to a good high-point ability. His ability to track, even after a stutter move, will be a welcome addition to the Bills if he sticks on the roster, most likely as a deep threat.

There shouldn’t be any expectation of usurping any of the trio of Stefon Diggs, John Brown, and Cole Beasley. Gabriel Davis may be fighting for the spot fans hoped Duke Williams would land and thrive in but that does mean a roster spot could be in play for the possible deep-threat receiver.