After the NFL Draft concludes, fans scramble to process the draft class of their favorite teams. “Was that player the right one?” “Should we have gone this direction?” “How could we not fill that need?!” Fan blogs, local sports media, national media, and team specific sites all crank up analysis reports and try to provide a general overview of how the draft played out and should be viewed. I’m going to be more specific and breakdown the pick that filled the biggest need on draft night.
That pick was Carlton Davis.
Davis is a 6’1”, 206lb cornerback out of Auburn University. He ran a 4.53 40-yard dash and posted a 34 inch vertical jump at the combine. People often look at any time over 4.4 and think that is somehow slow; I can assure you it’s not. 4.53 for a player Davis’s size is flat out flying. The difference in the NFL often comes down to technique over pure, raw speed. This is the reason why track guys don’t come in and dominate the league. Davis is plenty fast. He’s an aggressive (extremely confident) press coverage player that wins with his length (32 3⁄4 arms) and strength at the line to disrupt receivers off their routes. He can play off coverage too, but would be better utilized closer to the line. His 28 career passes defended are more than some of the top cornerbacks recently drafted in the first round. At 6’1“, he’s also the Bucs biggest cornerback in a division filled with tall wide receivers. While they don’t tell the whole story, here are his raw stats.
- 2015 - 12 games played. 56 tackles. 3 INT. 1 forced fumble. 8 pass defended. .5 sacks.
- 2016 - 12 games played. 46 tackles. 0 INT. 1 forced fumble. 10 pass defended. .5 sacks.
- 2017 - 12 games played. 34 tackles. 1 INT. 1 forced fumble. 10 pass defended. .5 sacks.
The INT numbers don’t pop off the screen and get you excited. Davis will need to improve that aspect of his game if he wants to ascend to be a top player in the league. He can struggle a bit in space to mirror routes and can be too grabby at times, as evidenced by his 6 pass interference flags in 2017.
The Bucs secondary struggled last season to put it kindly. Yes, the pass rush in front of them was severely lacking and left them exposed far too often. But, the production/talent was underperforming regardless of the ineffective pass rush. Opposing quarterbacks compiled 4,169 passing yards (260.6 a game), 22 TD’s, 202 first downs, 23.2 completions per game, 7.3 net yards gained per attempt and 67.5% (WHAT?!) completion percentage last season. At the end of the 2017 season, the Bucs had exactly two players under contract that had spent time at outside cornerback, Vernon Hargreaves and Ryan Smith. Jason Licht thankfully managed to coax the ageless Brent Grimes back with a one year contract, but that still left a gaping hole on the opposite side of the field. The addition of Davis helps solidify the secondary and injects more talent into a unit that desperately needed an upgrade.
So, what say you Bucs Nation? Did Davis fill the biggest need? Or would you go with Vita Vea or Ronald Jones?
Player that filled biggest need?
This poll is closed