TAMPA, Fla. -- ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his second mock draft Wednesday and he now has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selecting Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis with the 19th overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft.
In his first mock draft, Kiper had the Bucs selecting Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton, which was more of a "best-available" selection, but now he has the Carolina Panthers nabbing Charlton with the eighth overall pick. In Davis, they address much more of a need -- a threat opposite Pro Bowler Mike Evans who could replace Vincent Jackson.
At 6-foot-3, 213 pounds, Davis has the size to line up on the outside, but he also has the ability to line up in the slot, which would give coach Dirk Koetter plenty of flexibility as a play-caller.
Davis' college production suggests he can handle a heavy workload. He had 1,500 receiving yards in 2016, seventh-most in college football, with his 19 receiving touchdowns tied for the most in the country. His 5,285 career receiving yards are the most in FBS history.
Davis has the speed to gain separation and catch deep passes. He has the type of big-catch radius that makes Evans so difficult to defend, too. He also has the ability to gain yardage after the catch. He catches passes across the middle and makes the types of cuts a running back would, repeatedly juking defenders. The Bucs averaged 4.85 yards after the catch per reception last season, 27th in the league, so that's an area they definitely want to improve.
The Bucs are sorely lacking when it comes to a receiver who has the speed to take the top off a defense. Does Davis fit the bill? On tape, he looks plenty fast, but when it comes to actual measurables, we'll have to wait. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Davis had to undergo "minor" ankle surgery and will not run at the NFL scouting combine.
Another concern -- although looking at his tape, it should be a minor one -- Davis will have to address is the level of competition he faced in college, although that did little to deter the Bucs from selecting DIII standout OL Ali Marpet two years ago. Getting props from fellow former MAC standout Antonio Brown doesn't hurt, and neither does being coached by former Bucs wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck.
It would not surprise at all if, given the next go-around of mock drafts for Kiper, Davis is long gone before the Bucs are on the clock. The more people find out about him, the more they will love him.