Longtime readers might remember that I repeatedly called for the Jets to draft Davis either in the sixth or seventh round. While Davis was a bit of an unknown, his high ceiling and extremely athletic abilities made him a perfect example of a high-risk, high-reward player to snag in the late rounds of the draft.
To my surprise, Davis fell all the way through to the end of the draft without being selected.
Now that Davis is a Jet, he becomes arguably the most intriguing UDFA prospect that they have signed so far this offseason. A receiver out of Virginia Tech, Davis racked up 51 catches for 953 yards and five touchdowns in his last college season. A big, fast and athletic receiver, his measurables are the following (via Brian Bassett of TheJetsBlog.com):
Height: 6'3" Weight: 233 lbs.
Hands: 10.25" Arm Length: 32.75"
40 Yard Dash: 4.56 Bench: 19 reps
Vertical Jump: 39.5" Broad Jump: 120.0"
Obviously, with his height, size, big hands, great vertical jump and speed, there is no doubt that Davis has the physical requirements to become an NFL quality wide receiver. He fell through the cracks in the draft because of his lack of experience and his generally raw abilities.
Therefore, we should not expect too much of Davis as a rookie, nor should we judge him too harshly based on his rookie season. Nevertheless, the Jets are severely lacking in wide receiver depth. Beyond their three starters—Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley—the Jets have virtually no depth on the bench.
Could Davis earn the fourth spot on the depth chart, even as a rookie? It is entirely conceivable. Brian Bassett of TheJetsBlog.com provides some intel on Davis' weaknesses:
[Marcus Davis] needs to be more aggressive... and polished in his technique. Davis also needs to use his size to better fight for position and to get physical with defenders for the ball in the air... Davis has also been noted for not using his size to be as aggressive in the run-blocking game.
All of these weaknesses are related and signify one general trend. Davis has not yet learned how to use his physical advantages and turn them into positive plays. He is an excellent athlete already but not yet a great receiver. Not dissimilar from Stephen Hill, a second-round pick by the Jets last year, Davis will need to learn how to become a reliable pass-catcher and how to make the best use of his physical abilities.
Will Marcus Davis earn a roster spot as a wide receiver with the Jets?
Like with Hill a year ago, we should be expecting some roughness around the edges during Davis' rookie season. If Davis can bring any amount of value off the bench as a UDFA, then that is a win in the short term.
More importantly, it Davis can show progress throughout the year and get to a level where it appears he may fight for a starting job in 2014, then this move would have really paid off.
Keep an eye on Davis this summer. Jets fans may be seeing more of him in the years to come.