Bucs CB Davis Missing From ESPN’s Top 10 Cornerbacks List

Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis has been on a gentle rise to stardom over the previous couple of years.

A second-round choose within the 2018 Draft, the previous Auburn Tiger actually started his upward trajectory in 2019. Then, as Tampa Bay made its run to Tremendous Bowl LV in 2020, Davis turned a real No. 1 cornerback. He locked down a lot of the sport’s prime receivers that 12 months, together with New Orleans’ Michael Thomas within the NFC Divisional Spherical. Then, as any lockdown cornerback ought to, he fired off an all-time tweet at Thomas.

Davis had one other spectacular 12 months in 2021, regardless of lacking seven video games. The Bucs rewarded him this offseason, signing him to a brand new three-year deal. And whereas some retailers assume he’s on the cusp of being elite, a latest survey of NFL executives, coaches, scouts and gamers reveals that he might not be a prime 10 cornerback within the league simply but. As a substitute, the 25-year-old was listed as an honorable point out. Right here’s what the excerpt stated about Davis:

Davis has 52 go deflections in 4 seasons and performs a whole lot of man protection. “He doesn’t get sufficient credit score,” an AFC defensive coach stated. “Top-of-the-line press corners within the Nationwide Soccer League. He will get up there and takes guys away. He’s simply overshadowed by the opposite stars on that protection.”

How Davis Can Get To The Subsequent Stage

Bucs CB Carlton Davis III – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Whether or not it’s true or not that Davis is overshadowed by the likes of Devin White, Lavonte David, Shaquil Barrett, Vita Vea and Antoine Winfield Jr., it’s not out of line to say he doesn’t get fairly sufficient credit score. However what’s actually retaining him from that top-tier standing is his lack of interceptions. He will get his palms on loads of passes, however he has simply six profession interceptions. 4 of these got here in 2020, whereas he had only one in 2019 and one other in 2021.

Tampa Bay defensive backs coach Kevin Ross stated earlier this offseason that Davis would’ve been an All-Professional if he had caught half of the balls he dropped final 12 months. That’s the following step for the Bucs’ No. 1 nook. Truthful or not, cornerbacks are judged on interceptions. Primarily based on general physique of labor, Davis in all probability had a a lot better 12 months than Dallas’ Trevon Diggs final 12 months. However Diggs completed the season with 11 interceptions. That’s why he earned a Professional Bowl nod. It’s additionally why he was named an All-Professional.

It’s not that Davis wants 11 interceptions to climb the ranks of the cornerback hierarchy within the NFL. He simply must up his whole a bit. His expertise and consistency have made him a lockdown nook for Tampa Bay. However as a result of he isn’t flashy and he doesn’t have the turnover numbers, he’s nonetheless checked out as a man who’s on the sting of greatness. Except he can flip a few of these these passes defended into interceptions, he may discover himself in that purgatory eternally.