NAME: Ryan Davis
POSITION: Wide Receiver
JERSEY: No. 23
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 175 lbs
Route Running – Davis aligned throughout the formation at Auburn, including motions and stacked alignments. However, he projects as a primary slot receiver at the next level with his size and traits. He ran a lot of short to intermediate routes, and plenty of bubble or quick screens. He has nice ability on change of direction routes, though he ran them sparingly throughout college. When taking reps along the boundary, he ran a lot of routes on the vertical plane. Found success on curls and comebacks, as he could snap his routes off and attack downhill. Consistent separation when he comes back towards the quarterback, creating easy passing windows. Conscious effort to keep his pads low and shoulders level during his stems. On his horizontal breaks, Davis would utilize a dead-leg cut, which kept his movements efficient. Davis’ best traits as a route runner are his short-area quickness and explosive feet.
Athleticism/ Speed – Undersized frame, but has a decent build for a slot receiver. His quickness and fluidity are major weapons, and translate into his well-rounded game. Plus acceleration and explosiveness, but I have questions about his long-speed. Doesn’t consistently uncover when tasked with vertical routes.
Hands / Ball Skills – Focuses on using his hands to catch passes, looking to pluck the ball out of the air. Especially on screen passes, Davis will extend to the catchpoint and rapidly transition into a ball carrier. Can have improper hand placement at times, but it rarely comes back to bite him. Hands can suffer when he’s contacted, as the ball can get knocked out due to his lack of strength and length for the position.
Ball Carrier – Experienced ball carrier who was trusted as a space player at Auburn. He’ll knife through small creases between defenders to gain extra yardage when it’s available. Gets vertical, into space and away from potential tacklers in an instant. Quickness and shiftiness in his hips allows for elusiveness. Does an excellent job of avoiding head-on collisions, and can remain upright through contact as a result. Lateral agility and cuts afford him space away from tacklers. In control of his cuts and sees defenders coming from his side with plus field vision and natural feel. Big-play ability can be a bit limited by his lack of elite speed, but he will consistently pick up positive yardage when it’s available.
Stalk Blocking – Davis shows positive effort as a blocker, and knowledge of body positoning. He works to engage with defensive backs, offering a solid punch. While he can get initially blown back due to his size, his feet will be moving and he’s shown a relatively strong recoil. He works to stay in-between the defender and ball carrier, using his body to cut off their path. When the QB scrambles, Davis has the awareness to turn into a blocker and find defensive backs.
Versatility – Davis showed nice versatility as a receiver at Auburn, even taking reps in the backfield. He finished his career with 8 carries, 24 punt returns and even 3 touchdown passes. His role at the next level will likely involve a heavy dose of short-to-intermediate routes from the slot, but he at least offers experience in other capacities.
BEST TRAIT – Speed / Ball Carrier
WORST TRAIT – Strength
RED FLAGS – N/A
Davis racked up a lot of receptions at Auburn, but offered little in terms of big plays or redzone potential. His role at the next level will likely be limited to a slot receiver with special teams versatility. His change of direction, route running prowess and soft hands gives him starter potential for an NFL team. The next step in his development will be additional strength, which can help him win with more consistency when he’s contested. Look for him to be a coveted piece on Day 3 of the NFL Draft.
– Brad Kelly
PROS: Has added much-needed muscle to his frame at Auburn. Playmaker with the ball in his hands, has shown the ability to make defenders miss in space and maximize touches. Quick transitions from receiver to runner. Good field vision to see space and avoid obstacles to work toward it. Vast majority of production came off of what he could create on bubbles, swings and hitches.
Terrific vertical push off the line of scrimmage to force corners to open early. Breaks down and comes back to the ball with good attention to detail (sinking his hips, no wasted steps). Speed to hit the home run after the catch. Seems to have all the traits to develop as a route runner. High-effort player who works for every yard he can get. Has only six career punt returns and zero kickoff returns, but traits would seem to suggest a real candidate in that department.
CONS: Smallish frame is a concern. Doesn’t take many square shots, but will struggle with press coverage and more physical corners in his routes. Almost all of his production came on manufactured touches. Rarely asked to work himself open against man coverage downfield. Almost all of his patterns come within ten yards of the line of scrimmage.
Development in his routes and releases are important. How well he tests at Combine will determine ceiling. Not a true tackle-breaker, and more slippery than athletically elusive in the open field. Usually goes down on the first good contact he receives.
Vertical ability is almost completely unknown. Seems to have speed, but very little production has come down the field. Few high-degree of difficult catches in his career (one vs LSU was outstanding, but stands alone). Catch-radius would seem to be a concern judging from his frame.