Davante reminds me a lot of Buffalo Bills Stevie Johnson. Davante has good size
and bulk to be a “move the chains” receiver and a quarterback’s best friend in
the red zone. He has excellent hands and can adjust to the ball in the air and
make the tough catch. Davante can set up a corner, get deep on double moves and,
with an accurate quarterback throwing to him, be a touchdown maker. He shows
good feet and the fluidity to run all the routes. He does a nice job going over
the middle and catching the ball on slant routes. He will go up and fight for
the ball in the air and that comes in handy when he is in the red zone.
Davante’s size, bulk and good hands to catch the ball makes him the prototypical
style of receiver that most teams look for in a draft.
Davante plays smaller than his size. He will need to be more physical at the
next level to be a dominant receiver for the team that selects him. He
stutter-steps too much off the line of scrimmage giving up his chest to a
bump-and-run corner, which is a habit he will have to correct or he will only be
considered a slot or complementary receiver. He doesn’t gain much yardage after
the catch or break many tackles and for a receiver with his size, you would
expect more from him in that capacity. Right now Davante plays like a speed
receiver in a possession receiver’s body. He has good hands, but not strong
hands; and although he will go up and fight for the ball, his lack of physical
use of his body makes it easy to beat him to the ball in the air.
This has been one of the hardest profiles I have ever had to do because of the
lack of accuracy of the quarterback who throws to Davante. It’s almost not fair
to him but I did see a player who doesn’t play to his size and that bothers me.
I expected Davante to be pushing smaller corners around and breaking tackles
with dramatic run after the catch yardage because of his size. Instead what I
see is a lot of stutter steps off the line and, in the red zone, smaller players
beating him to the ball unless the ball is on target. Davante has good solid
speed, but he lacks the explosiveness that a top receiver must have to be
selected early in a draft. That doesn’t mean much once a player is selected
because we all know what round you’re selected in should have no bearing on your
ability to impact once a player is on the field. With the right quarterback,
Davante could become a top receiver because he does have the talent; however, he
has to change his mindset and become more physical when running his routes and
off the line of scrimmage or he just becomes a guy, like all the rest. It’s
really up to Davante to become a more physical receiver like Anquan Boldin or
just one of those guys. As I said, this is a hard profile and maybe with a more
accurate quarterback I would see things differently. Feel free to prove me wrong
Davante, prove you’re more than just a guy. I think you can do it.