We all know how certain NFL Draft prospects can climb the rankings as the evaluation process matures. For instance, very few draftniks had Byron Jones on their radar before last season, or even in January. Now, he is readying for a trip to Chicago to attend the draft in-person.
While Jones is garnering a lot of the UConn-related draft attention, his teammate and co-captain Geremy Davis has struggled to make a splash. Despite being the Huskies most prolific pass-catcher since their move to FBS in 2000, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding where, if at all, Davis will be selected. Not the least of which starts with this puzzling tweet from a seemingly reputable source:
I appreciate the tweets guys, but Geremy Davis is seen by teams as a RB in the NFL, not a WR.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) April 13, 2015
Despite measuring nicely, scouts questioned Davis' speed and route-running ability at the start of the evaluation process. He had a good showing at the combine and in the 40-yard dash at his pro day, which should allay some of those concerns, but questions still remain about his fluidity and mechanics at the position. Scouts did like his 23 bench press reps and zero dropped passes in 2014.
Right now, according to assorted NFL draft sites of varying validity, Geremy Davis is being projected anywhere between the 3rd round and going undrafted. It doesn't help that this year's wide receiver class is considered to be very deep, so as you can imagine this is difficult to sort things out when we're working with rumors, workout invites and #sources for such a large group.
Davis was not included on the 7-round mock draft released by NFL.com last Friday, or even in the list of compelling undrafted free agents which followed. Luckily, there is some positive buzz around him among the NFL Draft intelligentsia.
Dane Brugler, an NFL Draft analyst for CBSSports.com says:
A team is going to get a steal with UConn WR Geremy Davis on day three. #KevinWhiteLight— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) March 18, 2015
Daniel Jeremiah, of the NFL Network and the popular podcast Move the Sticks, had this to say:
Studying UConn WR Geremy Davis...love the size but he consistently eases into break point & tips routes. Does make some nice high pt grabs— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) April 6, 2015
Zach Whitman, who writes for the SB Nation Seahawks site, FieldGulls and runs his own evaluation site, offered these kind words:
Add Geremy Davis to the list of late-round big WR -- full sigma athlete at 6023, 216. Sixth best pSPARQ among Combine WRs.— Zach Whitman (@zjwhitman) March 31, 2015
I didn't know what pSPARQ was until today, but according to their site it is a metric designed to "give us an idea of where a given player stands athletically relative to his peers." Niceeee.
Rich Hill, of SB Nation Patriots blog Pats Pulpit, compared Davis to a current Pats receiver:
Davis met with the Patriots earlier this month in a private workout. He has also worked out with the Falcons and the Eagles, per The Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner.
Here are a few educated (read: just short of totally random) guesses as to where Geremy Davis might end up:
Minnesota - attended UConn Pro Day, and should be looking for help at the position to complement Cordarelle Patterson.
New Orleans - The Saints are well-known in the fantasy football community for using multiple receivers. They have also proven adept at finding productive receivers in the late rounds, such as Kenny Stills and Marques Colston. Davis might be a good fit to join the platoon in Nawlins.
Philadelphia - The Eagles are looking for wide receivers after trading Desean Jackson to Washington last season and letting Jeremy Maclin walk in free agency. Head Coach Chip Kelly was in attendance at UConn's Pro Day, and saw Davis again in a follow-up workout with DL B.J. McBryde and Byron Jones.
Seattle - Despite back-to-back trips to the Super Bowl, Seattle's receiver corps remains a question mark, as Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse both had their struggles throughout the season, and Chris Matthews, ignoring the first half of Super Bowl XLIX, has done very little in the league.
San Francisco - The Niners lost both Stevie Johnson and Michael Crabtree to free agency. They will likely be looking for the services of a wideout in the draft.
Davis has also been in touch with former UConn coach TJ Weist to refine his skills. Weist believes that Davis will make it at the next level because of his drive:
"Geremy is hungry...If you don't have that work ethic, you don't have that hunger, you're going to get left behind. I truly believe Geremy Davis has that hunger and fire and love of the game to succeed."
It was really unfortunate for Davis that his production dipped in his senior year, as it was primarily due to factors outside of his control. Hopefully we hear his name called at some point this weekend. As they say, it only takes one team to fall in love. With Davis, a hard-working receiver with great physical tools and a strong academic record, there is a lot to love.