Corey Davis’ OSM continues to climb during his time with the Titans

    Entering his fourth year in the NFL, Corey Davis' OSM score continues to improve with every year of experience. How is the WR getting better in his game?

    Several Tennessee Titans players earned impressive overall Offensive Share Metric Scores for the 2019 season. However, behind the leaders, such as QB Ryan Tannehill, RB Derrick Henry, and WR AJ Brown, was a continued trend of growth. For the second consecutive season, Titans WR Corey Davis’ overall OSM score has risen to a new career-high earning a 33.21 in 2019. 

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    Corey Davis’ OSM journey

    Davis has slowly improved his game contrary to what the box score would say since being drafted with the fifth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Western Michigan. During his rookie campaign in 2017, Davis earned an overall OSM score of 28.07, ranking at WR72 out of the 93 receivers that qualified for a grade. 

    Throughout his career, Davis has seen a more substantial cushion than most receivers. However, he has matched that by finding separation from his defenders. During his rookie season, Davis found an average of 2.7 yards of separation on his 65 targets, the 10th highest among receivers. 

    Everyone has room to grow, and for Davis, his catch percentage was an issue. His rookie season produced the lowest rate of his career at 52.31%. OSM looks at the behaviors that are within a player’s control, and catching just 34 of 65 targets will cause that score to drop. 

    Corey Davis’ 2018 Sophomore Surge

    Davis’ sophomore season brought considerable improvements to a couple of areas. First, Davis saw his average separation rise from 2.7 to 3.1 yards on his targets, the seventh-highest separation among wide receivers in 2018. He caught 65 passes from 112 targets for 891 yards and four touchdowns, all career highs. 

    More importantly, he started to bring up his catch percentage as well. Davis improved his rate by 6% to 58.04% for the season, which helped him raise his overall OSM score to 32.29. 

    Another area Davis has been consistent in is his yards after the catch per reception. While he earned a modest average YAC/R of 3.2 yards in 2017, however, it was 0.7 yards underneath his expected YAC. He improved upon that mark in 2018, earning an average YAC/R of 4.3 yards and moving his differential into the positive range finding .3 more yards than his expected YAC/R. 

    Low box score results but career-high OSM for Davis

    2019 was a strange year for Davis. His overall production took a hit, he reached the endzone just two times and saw almost half the targets from 2018. He also earned only 601 yards on 43 receptions, a higher average per reception than the 2018 season, but still above the 13-yard mark. But while his production took a hit, Davis earned the highest OSM grade of his career so far, earning a 33.21. 

    His cushion in 2019 was the highest of his career at an average of 7.2 yards, the third-highest in the league. His separation dropped from an average of 3.1 yards to 2.7 yards, but it was still the tenth-highest separation in the league among WRs in 2019.

    He continued his growth in his catch percentage last season as well. While he saw a considerable drop in targets – 112 to 69 – he caught 62.32% of his passes, bringing that percentage up another 4% from 2018 and 10% from his rookie season. 

    Davis showed improvement in several other areas

    Davis also continued his upward trajectory in YAC/R. During the 2019 season, Davis earned an average YAC of 4.9 yards, the highest average of his career so far. He also improved upon his YAC differential by 1.2 yards from the previous season, seeing his differential jump from 0.3 to 1.5, the ninth-highest differential among wide receivers. 

    Davis’ slow improvement of his catch percentage is the most significant factor in his future success. The dependability of a receiver’s hands is crucial in forming the confidence and chemistry between the quarterback and receiver. A QB is going to throw to receivers that are going to catch the ball; if the receiver’s hands are questionable, then they are not going to see as many targets.

    That is evident in Davis’ drop in targets from 2018 to 2019. However, it seems Davis might have gotten that message as this is an area he has steadily improved upon during his career.

    Another issue that tends to plague Davis during the season is his inconsistency. In 2018, Davis had just two games with 125+ receiving yards and one with 96 yards. In 2019, Davis never crossed the 100-yard receiving mark and had only two games with more than 60 yards. If he can become more consistent throughout a 16 game season and continue to improve his catch %, not only can Corey Davis’ OSM score continue to climb, but he can also become quite the weapon for the Titans and fantasy teams.

    Although, if the Tennessee Titans want to keep Davis for 2021 and beyond, the parties would have to come to an agreement after the Titans after declining his fifth-year option. 

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