Sports

Corey Davis suddenly in No. 1 receiver role for Zach Wilson, Jets

As the Jets get closer to training camp, I am examining the roster and giving you my top 25 players. Each weekday, we will reveal another person on the list, leading right into camp. I am not including rookies on this list because I do not feel it is possible to fully evaluate them before they play a game.

No. 3: Corey Davis

Last year’s ranking: Unranked (not on team)

Position: WR

Age on Opening Day: 26

How acquired: Signed a three-year, $37.5 million free agent contract with the Jets on March 16

Years left on contract: 3

2021 Salary Cap figure: $12.7 million

Looking back at 2020

Davis had a career year with the Titans and parlayed that into a big payday from the Jets in free agency.

Davis matched his career high with 65 catches and set new career highs with 984 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns as part of a high-powered Tennessee offense. His 70.7 catch percentage also marked a career best.

Davis was a weapon in stretching the field. He averaged 15.1 yards per reception and 10.7 yards per target. He only had three drops last season.

Corey Davis with the Titans in 2020.
Corey Davis with the Titans in 2020.
Getty Images

A stint on the COVID-19 list knocked Davis out of two games last year. He started 12 and played 67 percent of Tennessee’s snaps.

PFF rated Davis 10th out of 127 wide receivers and 8th in just receiving.

Outlook for 2021

The Jets targeted Davis in free agency to fill their hole at wide receiver and give their offense the playmaker it has lacked since Robby Anderson left. The Jets feel that Davis is a perfect fit for their offense, which is very similar to what he played in under Arthur Smith in Tennessee. The Jets love his physicality and 6-foot-3 size. Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said “you can feel him going over the middle.” LaFleur said Davis can make one cut and separate and that is perfect for this offense, which will rely on plenty of play-action passes.

Davis is going to be an interesting signing for GM Joe Douglas. Free agents are free agents for a reason. If Davis had performed up to his draft status (No. 5 overall in 2017), the Titans would have kept him. Instead, they did not even pick up his fifth-year option.

The Jets surely did their homework on why that happened. Tennessee has a lot of people to pay on its offense with Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown. It could be as simple as Davis being the odd man out. But now, Davis is going to be asked to be a No. 1 wide receiver for the Jets. His production will be critical for rookie quarterback Zach Wilson and will be one of the biggest storylines of the 2021 season.

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