Titans WR Corey Davis is criminally underrated.
Ok, so I’ll be the first to admit: I was not a Corey Davis believer for the first few years of his career with the Tennessee Titans.
For a wide receiver that was drafted in the Top 5, Davis had a very underwhelming rookie season. In 2017, Davis finished with 34 catches for 375 yards. Granted, the entire offense was underwhelming and he struggled with injuries throughout the season, but this was not a promising start to his career.
Then we moved on to 2018, where Davis stepped up with 65 catches for 891 yards. This was a promising step, still not elite level, but a definite improvement on a lackluster rookie year.
In 2019, Davis took another step back, due to the emergence of rookie superstar A.J. Brown. Davis ended the 2019 campaign with 43 catches for 601 yards, Those are solid WR2 numbers, but remember this is a guy that the Titans spent a top-5 pick on, so fans still wanted a little more.
Fast-forward to 2020, and Corey Davis has been an essential piece of the 5th-ranked offense in the league. With one more regular season game to play, Davis has had 60 catches for 945 yards, slightly edging Brown to be the Titans’ leading receiver. 2020 has been the best season of Davis’ career to this point, and we are finally seeing flashes of what the Titans hoped to see when selecting Davis.
Unfortunately, Davis is going to follow up his career year with a trip to unrestricted free agency. I believe at this point, that the Titans cannot afford to let Davis walk. Davis has established himself as a solid number 2 WR at worst, and a possible elite talent at best. With not much else on the roster at WR, the impact of Corey Davis is even more evident.
A.J. Brown is the flashier player, but Corey Davis has been every bit as productive in 2020. This offense is clearly more effective with both players on the field with both contributing. What should also be taken into consideration, is Adam Humphries, the third receiver on the depth chart.
Humphries has been productive from the slot when he’s healthy, but that’s the problem. Humphries has only played in 7 games in 2020 due to multiple injuries, further cementing the need for Corey Davis behind A.J. Brown. The team’s offense in 2020 has reached a new level that Titans’ fans are unaccustomed to seeing. Obviously having the 2-time NFL rushing champ is a huge reason, but having 2 1,000 yard receivers is no small deal.
If Davis were to walk in free agency, the Titans would be left with A.J. Brown, Adam Humphries, Kalif Raymond, Cam Batson, and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. Other than Brown, none of these players have shown an ability to make up for the production of Corey Davis. If the Titans enjoy having a high-powered Top-5 offense, Corey Davis must be brought back in 2021 and beyond.
Heading into 2020, it felt like A.J. Brown was set for a huge year as the WR1 and Davis would be able to eat the scraps and put up a solid WR2 stat line again, but maybe we are seeing the rise of Co-WR1s in this offense.