Rookie Rundown: WR Gabriel Davis, Central Florida

Rookie Rundown: WR Gabriel Davis, Central Florida

Fantasy Football Rookie Analysis

Rookie Rundown: WR Gabriel Davis, Central Florida

By

(Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports)

Central Florida wide receiver Gabriel Davis is coming off of a fantastic junior season in which he snagged a dozen touchdown passes. After opting to forgo his senior season, Davis finds himself as an intriguing risk-reward prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 198 pounds
40 time: 4.54 seconds

After starting 13 games as a true freshman in 2017, Davis would go on to earn first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors as a sophomore, a feat he replicated thanks to his dominant junior 2019 season.

Table: Gabriel Davis NCAA stats (2017-19)

Year
Team
Rec
Yds
Avg
TD
Long
2017
UCF
27
391
14.5
4
80
2018
UCF
53
815
15.4
7
75
2019
UCF
72
1,241
17.2
12
73

Pros

  • Long-armed frame with a big catch radius
  • Natural hands catcher and rarely allows the ball to get into his body
  • Impeccable body control in traffic — easily his best attribute
  • Improved across the board statistically throughout his collegiate career
  • Vertical threat with the ability to challenge defenders down the field — ball-tracking skills are on par with the best wideouts of this class
  • Noticeably talented with hand placement and strength in short area to create separation against smaller defenders one on one
  • Athletic enough to pull off convincing double moves and has enough burst to get out of breaks efficiently
  • “Gets it” in jump-ball situations — obviously understands body placement, timing, and vertical extension techniques
  • Quality effort blocker whose frame and functional strength should promote growth as a pro
  • Considerable upside with the proper coaching around him

Cons

  • May struggle to gain separation consistently in the NFL, especially vs. cornerbacks near his size and strength
  • Doesn’t always play hard or with consistency when he isn’t involved in the play — needs to prove he is competitive enough for the NFL
  • Lacks explosiveness and could struggle to be as much of a big-play guy in the pros as he was at UCF
  • Can get wasteful with his footwork early in routes and coming into breaks — certainly fixable with proper coaching

Fantasy football outlook

Despite all of Davis’ success in college, and his consistent upward trajectory in the box scores, he is somewhat of a project at the next level.

Most prognosticators place a third-round grade on Davis, but he could go slightly higher or lower, depending upon system fit and the like. It is tough to envision him making a substantial difference as a rookie, and fantasy footballers should tuck his name away as a player to watch develop throughout the season. Davis’ has the makings of being a seldomly used situation player in Year 1.

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