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2020 NFL Draft Profile: UCF WR Gabriel Davis

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Could Pat Shurmur grab another raw route runner and turn him into a slot fade stud?

Central Florida v Pittsburgh
Davis is a toolsy sleeper.
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Broncos need receivers. We know it, they know it, and Elway has made sure the whole league is aware that he plans to address the group this spring. Fortunately, this upcoming Draft class looks historically loaded at the position.

One of the best ways to take advantage of the depth of this receiver class is to invest a Day 3 pick at the position. After all, chances are high that many of the wideouts still available would have gone much higher in an average year. If the Broncos choose to do this, one of the better potential sleepers are Gabriel Davis.

Davis is size/speed prospect who could really take off with NFL coaching.

Scouting Report:

  • Stands 6’2 and weighs in at 216 lbs with 32 1/4” arms.
  • Good athlete with good explosiveness and balance combined with 4.5 speed. Builds up to full steam and can zip when he hits top gear.
  • Good play strength with the frame to grow.
  • Will stutter step to create space off the line of scrimmage, solid burst at snap.
  • Good double moves will sucker opponents.
  • Good hand/eye coordination shows in his ball tracking.
  • Capable of adjusting to catch balls behind him.
  • Will use frame to protect the ball and box out defenders.
  • Extends for catch, using his length to his advantage, shows up in his ability to go over defenders or make his QB right when he’s wrong.
  • Good blocker thanks to his frame, strength, and willingness to mix it up.
  • Adequate lateral mobility thanks to stiff ankles and tight hips.
  • 84% of his 2019 yards came on hitches, slants, posts, go’s, and double moves
  • Adequate release, will need to refine his technique or get stalled out by all manners of press. Too much dancing and too many stutter steps.
  • Adequate separation quickness, ceiling here may be capped by physical limitations.
  • Concentration drops haunt him, could use refinement of catching technique.
  • Adequate YAC threat, not going to generate a lot of yards on his own.
Davis has the tools to be a solid depth receiver if he can contribute on special teams. His ceiling hints at more.

What I’ve heard/read:

PFF Draft Guide - Mike Renner

Davis is a massive project at this point. It’s concerning that his routes were sloppy even on one of the most limited route trees of any WR in the draft. With limited quicks and explosiveness, Davis doesn’t profile as a separator at the next level.

Gabriel Davis WR UCF - Draft Player Profile | The Draft Network - Joe Marino

UCF wide receiver Gabriel Davis found exciting production in college by running go routes, showcasing his smooth acceleration, ball tracking skills and hands. His ability to run double moves and create vertical separation will be an asset in the NFL. With that said, his projection elsewhere is underwhelming. As it stands, his ability to execute a complete route tree is limited and he offers very little post-catch upside. Davis is likely a WR4 at the next level that does provide vertical receiving upside which is of value. That said, increasing his value by excelling on special teams will be important.

Gabriel Davis WR UCF - Draft Player Profile | The Draft Network - Benjamin Solak

Gabriel Davis is a Day 3 developmental field stretcher with a solid ceiling. With a sparse route tree and undisciplined feet/body positioning in his route stem, Davis will fail to separate early in the NFL unless it’s on a straight line. Davis is a linear athlete with good burst and great long speed, but he struggles to catch through contact or at full speed, and his inconsistent hands outside of his frame limit his reliability as a permanent starter at the Z. Davis is a good candidate for gunner play and can carve out a WR4/5 role accordingly, but is multiple years of development away from meaningful offensive contributions. With that said, Davis is a quality athlete in terms of height/weight/speed, and is worthy of developmental effort. Davis is a Year 1 special-teamer with the potential to develop into a field stretcher by Year 2/3 if he broadens his route tree and works his releases.

NFL Draft & Combine Profile - Gabriel Davis | NFL.com

Big target with outstanding 2019 production in an offense that created favorable big play opportunities. Davis is a sideline threat with a good feel for creating space short and long through hand fighting. His build-up speed, ball-tracking and high-point talent can alter the success rate of deep throws for quarterbacks, but sluggish release quickness and predictable route usage are concerning. His size and downfield talent could push him up the board, but he won’t get easy looks in the pros and may need more work and development than the 2019 production might indicate.

Why he fits

If the Broncos wind up chasing someone like a Justin Jefferson or K.J. Hill type earlier in the draft, they’ll still be on the hunt for a boundary weapon who can threaten the deep areas of the field. In such a scenario, a player like Davis makes a ton of sense. It’s likely the Broncos know this, as they formally met with him at the NFL Combine.

One of the key traits John Elway mentioned as a priority for the Broncos’ offense is to add speed. While Davis is not close to a complete receiver at this time, what he provides as a vertical threat could be an early asset in the right hands. Look no further than the 740 yards and 8 touchdowns Darius Slayton scored for Pat Shurmur’s New York Giants last year to get an idea as to what his role could look like early.

It’s also worth noting that he turned 21 at the beginning of April and many of the areas of his game that need improvement could do so with professional coaching.

If the Broncos want to grab a vertical threat who wins above the rim, Davis is well worth a look.

Final Thoughts

On a normal year a player like Gabriel Davis could push for the second day of the draft. That seems unlikely with so much talent in this class, and a smart team with a plan on how to maximize his skillset and develop him could really benefit.

Poll

Do you want the Broncos to draft Gabriel Davis?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Heck yes, speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed.
    (208 votes)
  • 49%
    Nope, if my offense ain’t 3 yards and a cloud of dust I get cranky.
    (205 votes)
413 votes total Vote Now