The moment you have all been waiting for the two best WR head-to-head, unless you are a huge John Ross fan (I might be the only one though.) Both of these wide-outs could be the best WR we have seen in a draft since Odell Beckham Jr. While one just went on to win the National Championship making several highlight reel catches, the other helped Western Michigan to the highest rank in the programs history in FBS and an amazing record.
The theory of “ya, but who did he play?” for elite small school players Corey Davis is not relevant any more after we have seen so many show up in the NFL.
Corey Davis Mike Williams
Height: 6 feet 3 inches Height: 6 feet 3 inches
Weight:213 lbs Weight: 225 lbs
Est. 40-yard-dash: 4.48 Est. 40-yard-dash: 4.48
Rec Tds: 52 Rec TDs: 21
Rec : 331 Rec: 177
Yards: 5278 Yards: 2727
Yards per rec avg: 15.9 Yards per rec avg: 15.4
KR/PR Yards: None KR/PR Yards: None
Best game: 2014- Win 9 rec 212 yards 23.6 avg 2 TD Best game: 2016- Loss 15 rec 202 yards 13.5 avg 1 TD
Games played: 50 Games played: 38
This is one of the closest set of WR I have ever compared. Clearly Corey Davis out produced Mike Williams in college. He more than doubled Mike`s Td`s, receptions, and yards. The best game was a close one to me, but Corey got the win in his with the added TD. While a 15 catch 200 yard performance is nothing to balk at, Davis was able to do more with less.
Now, it is important to remember Mike Williams suffered a serious injury one season and played only 1 game that year. Which shows he could have kept up via the average as far as box scores go.
Corey Davis was nothing short of spectacular during his complete 4-years in college, which is rare to do for a guy of his talent. I already agree on the comparisons of him to Larry Fitzgerald and Alshon Jeffery. He has no fear when he plays, and has shown he is capable of handling a WR1 workload. Davis will be a great red-zone possession target and should be on every teams draft board, if you think you don’t want Corey Davis you are wrong. So lets address the notion of him vs a lack of true defensive talent. He had 52 receptions for 701 yards and 5 Td`s vs Big 10 teams.
2013Michigan State- 8 rec 96 yards 1 TD
Northwestern- 5 rec 112 yards 1 TD
Iowa- 2 rec 11 yards
Purdue- 4 rec 46 yards 1 TD
Michigan State- 10 rec 154 yards 1 TD
Ohio State- 6 rec 42 yards
Northwestern- 7 rec 70 yards
Illinois- 4 rec 97 yards
Wisconsin- 6 rec 73 yards and 1 TD
Along with a very notable game vs Air Force where he had 8 rec 176 yards 3 TD in 2014. So I think that takes care of how he did against good competition.
Corey might be one of the most polished route runners from a non-power-5 school I have seen in a long time, and is the best route runner in this class. He is so fast in and out of his breaks, sticks his foot in the ground and changes direction. That is a very important skill at the next level, even the small things like rounding off an out route or a 10-yard in route could be the difference between a 1st down and a pick going the other way. He has great box out potential as well when he is getting ready to catch the ball.
Mike Williams we all know and many scouts and analysts alike fell in love with him all over again this year as he showed more than a few times what he can do. While I think he has a bit more of a big-play type mentality more along the lines of an Brandon Marshall or Terrell Ownes than Corey Davis does he is still a huge target. By far one of my favorite traits about Mike is his ability to come back and high point the ball. Very rarely will you see an incompletion or interception due to his lack of high-pointing the ball. The severe neck injury which sidelined him and may have ended his career seems to be all but a thing of the past at this point. He however is not as polished a route runner as Corey Davis, but this could also be due to a lack of playing time.
Mike Williams could very well be drafted in the top-10 and end up the most talented offensive player or overall player on which ever team he is drafted.
There was no lack of defensive talent going head-to-head with Mike where some people have the concern with Corey. He went up against some of the best defenses in the country and played two decent games in back-to-back title games vs the best defense in football by a wide margin in Alabama. One of the best things about Mike Williams is his ability to play all over the field in anyway, over the middle, down the side lines and bubble screens. His size and hands will also be more than helpful when he wants to run block, as he has some vicious hand fighting in his arsenal.
While Corey Davis might be the guy making 10-foot-jumps to grab a ball for a TD at the corner of the end-zone on a fade route, Mike will be more of the spectacular catch go all over the field guy. Both can do the same type of play in some aspects, but if you need a strong red-zone threat your guy is Davis. If you want a strong middle of the field, one-handed-catch guy its Mike Williams. They can also both fly past defenders based on their size. I would however like to see them closer to a 4.45 on the 40-yard-dash at the combine vs a 4.5-4.55, but at 6-foot-3-inches and 215-220 pounds no corner or safety in the league is a good match up. They also both are very good at not doing two of my biggest knocks on a WR. Neither of them consistently catch the ball with their body or jump for a ball that would have hit them in the chest in the first place. When a WR does this is shows they do not trust their hands or the less likely are afraid of getting hit.
Hard to make a call for me on this showdown. It will depend on the team taking them to decide which is the better fit for that offense. I will say any west coast team should be over-the-top on both of these guys.
Corey Davis comparison: Larry Fitzgerald
Projected Draft: 20th to Denver. Highest 8th to Carolina, Lowest 26th to Seattle (while it might not be Seattle I think his floor is 26-28th someone will trade up)
Mike Williams comparison: Terrell Owens
Projected Draft: 8th to Carolina. Highest 5th to Tennessee Titans, Lowest 13th to Arizona