NFL Draft Preview: Robert Davis, Georgia State

Robert Davis is the Sun Belt’s most explosive WR since T.Y. Hilton.

College: Georgia State

Position: Wide Receiver

Height/Weight: 6’3″/219

Accolades: 2015 and 2016 Sun Belt 1st Team, Panther’s all-time leader in receptions (222) and receiving yards (3,391), 2nd all-time in Sun Belt for receiving yards

In 2015, his junior season, Robert Davis hauled in 61 receptions for 980 yards, second in the Sun Belt behind teammate rookie sensation Penny Hart (1,099 yards). Davis, with his beastly six-foot-three frame, was an established star already coming off two 700 yard seasons. But with the legendary Nick Arbuckle leaving the Panthers after 2015, would Davis be the same wide receiver? The answer is “yup.” Davis followed his junior season with a career finale 67 receptions for 968 yards and five touchdowns – with the Connor “not-quite Nick Arbuckle” Manning behind center and without the production of Penny Hart (injured). The circumstances don’t matter to Davis. He wants to the rock and he wants it now.

Why NFL teams must, at all costs, add Robert Davis

Davis is arguably the best wide receiver in Sun Belt history (T.Y. Hilton fanatics can politely disagree), but he’s not just a creature of exposing Sun Belt secondaries. In 2016, Roberts clobbered Wisconsin for 8 receptions, 93 yards and a score. In 2015, he torched Oregon for 89 yards and a touchdown. Somebody called Davis the next Julio Jones. Both are 6’3″, 220lb club bouncers who can push around corners like James Spader bullying Anthony Michael Hall. Go ahead and draft squirts like John Ross and Curtis Samuel. Smart teams will be adding Davis at a sweet discount.

Is there a downside to Robert Davis?

Nope. I mean, he did only record one receiving yard against San Jose State during Georgia State’s first and only bowl appearance. That’s pretty nitpicky. And so is this “weakness assessment” from CBS/NFL:

Davis was a man amongst boys at this level and may lack the straight-line speed necessary to keep defenders from crowding him at the line of scrimmage. He is more smooth than explosive out of his breaks, creating slivers of space that NFL quarterbacks may opt to avoid. Davis needs to do a better job of high-pointing passes, catching balls at eye-level rather than extending his arms and boxing out defenders as effectively as his size suggests.

First of all, “man amongst boys at this level” feels like a slight against the Sun Belt, and I don’t cotton to Sun Belt slights. Secondly, yeah Davis’ 4.44 40 at the Combine didn’t exactly shatter anyone’s opinions about his straight-line speed, but it’s right there with Julio Jones’ 4.39. So, like I said, no downside.

Where does Robert Davis land on Draft Day has Davis a Day 3 pick, but that feels cautious to me. My big gut tells me Davis gets his shot a little earlier, maybe late in the fourth.

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