Craig Davis    WR    LSU

 

STRENGTHS 

Craig has good size and speed for his position.  He is a smart receiver and runs excellent routes.  He is quick in and out of his breaks and does a good job setting up a CB to get deep for the deep pass.  Craig does a solid job blocking for the running game and has shown strong hands to catch the ball.  His biggest strength is his route running.  He runs his routes just like they are drawn up on the chalkboard.  Craig looks like he is a good teammate and a hard worker; this, along with his talent, should take him a long way in the NFL.

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Toughness and instincts are the two important ingredients missing in Craig’s overall game.  I believe that Craig can develop instincts, but I am not sure that he can develop the toughness required to be more than a #2 or # 3 WR in the NFL.  If he’s not tough enough to handle the hits at the college level, be assured that he will not be able to handle the hits at the next level.  But, anything is possible!

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 4

Craig was able to hide the fact that he does not like to get hit because he was on a college team that had tremendous talent at the wide receiver position.  His overall game and athletic talent, along with his work ethic, is excellent.  However, this one big problem will be magnified at the next level and rear its ugly head at the most important times in the most important games.  Craig is a smooth player; he has deceiving speed and quickness, but if he has a problem going over the middle and getting hit, then he will not be that good on special teams either.  There are a lot of big time receivers that have problems going over the middle, but they still have very good careers.  Most of the time, this problem is magnified once these players get into the playoffs.  Only then do you notice that their production drops noticeably as teams concentrate on defending these players with double teams and pushing them off their routes to the middle of the field where the CB has help after the catch to punish the receiver with a safety.  The double team concentration and the likelihood that someone is going to take their heads off after a catch makes a player like Craig start to run his routes with less enthusiasm than he ran those routes during the regular season.  That’s why you will see Pro Bowl WR’s disappear in the playoffs and not become much of a factor for their teams.  We’ve all seen many a Pro Bowl WR disappear during the playoffs, but because they have such good stats during the season, we have a tendency to give them a pass.  If Craig is matched up with a receiver who has no problems going over the middle, he should have a pretty good career.  However, if he’s put into the position where he is expected to carry the team, I think Craig will be one of those WR’s that will disappear.   This doesn’t mean that Craig will not be a good player.  But it does mean that when you draft Craig, look for the “buyer beware” label.  It’s there if you look hard enough.    

Drew Boylhart

January/2007