Quentin Johnston attracts most of the media allure, but Derius Davis is another TCU WR to know with his 2023 NFL Draft scouting report. Here’s what Davis brings to the table, and how he projects as a professional prospect.
Derius Davis NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Wide Receiver
- School: TCU
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height/Weight: 5’10”, 175 pounds
There were a lot of mouths to feed in TCU’s prolific 2022 offense, and Davis was one of them. In truth, Davis has been a mainstay in the Horned Frogs’ rotation for five seasons. He never rose to the level of premier threat, but his ability to change a game with one play has always been visible.
There’s one trait that enables Davis to do that, and it’s speed. That’s something the TCU WR isn’t short on by any stretch. Speed was a prime factor in Davis registering 107 catches for 1,412 yards and nine touchdowns across five seasons with the Horned Frogs, but it also served him well in another area: Special teams.
Accruing experience as both a kick returner and punt returner, Davis carved out a niche catching lobs from specialists and running them back. Davis has five punt return touchdowns and an additional kick return touchdown to his name — yet another endorsement of the dynamic athleticism he provides.
Davis embarked on a career year in 2022 with 37 catches for 430 yards and five touchdowns, adding two punt return TDs. With that production, he earned a Senior Bowl invite, and he might also work his way onto the draft board in April.
Derius Davis Scouting Report
- Effortless accelerator with high-level initial burst and stellar explosiveness upfield.
- Twitchy athlete with great lateral agility and change of direction in space.
- Can use curvilinear acceleration to maintain speed through sharp route breaks.
- With active feet, can sift through congestion and churn ahead after the catch.
- Despite lacking size, can squirm through solo tackles with slippery RAC ability.
- Has great hip sink and hip fluidity at stems, and can swivel around without delay.
- Has the long speed to break into the open field and generate big plays.
- Has shown he can guide passes with his hands and secure short throws amidst contact.
- Willing blocker who can at least square up and obstruct opponents.
Areas for Improvement
- Severely undersized receiver with minimal density and a small catch radius.
- Lacks the mass to consistently clear direct contact situations as a RAC threat.
- Will sometimes time extensions too early in an attempt to compensate for lacking reach.
- Has a relatively limited route tree and has room for more efficiency at times.
- Very limited as a vertical contested catch threat with lacking length and frame density.
- Short-strider who doesn’t quite have elite range when attacking zones.
- Sometimes fails to maintain urgency and focus through scramble drills.
- Easily blown back as a blocker and struggles to maintain blocks past initial contact.
TCU WR Derius Davis Current Draft Projection
Davis grades as a mid-to-late Day 3 prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. His size will be a notable dampener on his stock. He’s listed at 5’10”, 175 pounds, and likely measures in even smaller. That said, the explosiveness and speed he brings to the fold should give him a good chance to be selected, especially with a Senior Bowl showing on deck.
Davis is an easy accelerator with 4.4 speed, and that combination makes him a dynamic threat whenever he has space. However, Davis can also take short dump-offs and screens and create yardage with his agility and slippery nature as a runner.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Davis does have room to grow as a route runner, as his route tree is relatively limited. That said, he has flashed many of the necessary building blocks to become a threat there — notably his foot speed, hip sink, and hip flexibility in close quarters.
With his lacking mass and reach, Davis will never be much of a contested threat. But he can be a dynamic catalyst for an offense when afforded space, and he also has a strong background as a return specialist — another element of his profile that should earn him fans in April. He’s a rotational spark-plug with high special teams value.
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