The NY Jets entered the offseason eyeing an upgrade at the wide receiver position. And they got exactly what they were looking for on the first day of free agency signing standout wide receiver Corey Davis to a three-year, $37.5 million contract.
Davis was the Jets’ first splash of the free-agency period, and their second overall signing after the addition of linebacker Jarrad Davis earlier in the day. And the former Tennessee Titans’ receiver has a chance to be a difference-maker in the Jets’ offense.
Standing at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Davis is a physical player who wins with exceptional ball skills and crisp route-running. He has experience playing both outside and in the slot, but found his most success playing on the boundary in Tennessee.
A former first-round pick, Davis was actually picked one spot ahead of former Jets’ safety Jamal Adams in the 2017 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, Davis’ time in Nashville was marred by injury and inconsistency as he never lived up to his lofty draft expectations.
The former Western Michigan star was limited to just 11 games in his rookie season, but broke out in 2018 finishing with 65 catches for 891 yards and four touchdowns.
His best season came a year ago when he hauled in 65 catches for 984 yards and five touchdowns — all of which were career-highs.
Despite playing second-fiddle to A.J. Brown, missing two games, and playing in a run-heavy Titans’ offense, Davis still averaged over 70 yards per game and came close to topping 1,000 yards.
How Corey Davis fits with the NY Jets
Davis may not be a Curtis Samuel or JuJu Smith-Schuster, but he seems to have been a little overlooked when discussing free-agent fits for Mike LaFleur’s offensive system prior to the start of free agency.
The 26-year-old did the majority of his damage in the short and intermediate game, but still managed to average 15.1 yards per catch. On top of that, he was an incredibly sure-handed receiver in 2020 as he has been throughout his entire career.
Davis dropped just four passes on 90 targets last season with three of those drops coming in Week 17. Through the first 16 weeks of the year, he had just one drop to his name.
His catch rate of 70.7 percent was among the better marks in football and only six players averaged more yards per target than he did. When Davis was thrown the ball, he tended to make the most of it.
And if analytics are your thing, the Chicago native finished with an elite 86.9 Pro Football Focus grade that ranked him as a top-10 receiver in football.
Davis is an ascending receiver who was only beginning to scratch the surface of his potential in Tennessee. Will he develop into a true No. 1 wideout in New York?
Who knows? And honestly, who cares?
Davis is a high-end No. 2 at worst and when paired with Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder (or another signing if Crowder is cut), the Jets have a trio of receivers that actually ranks around the middle of the pack in the NFL.
Corey Davis is a very strong addition to the Jets’ offense, and it’ll be interesting to see if he could take the next step under the tutelage of Mike LaFleur.
Final Grade: B+