Trevor Davis Offers Many Options For Packers

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Trevor Davis has received a bit more attention this offseason than he did a year ago.

Unfortunately, most of that attention surrounded an incident at a Los Angeles airport where Davis joked about having explosives on him.  That situation is now behind him and so the attention turns to football.

As a football player with the Packers, Davis is an interesting case.  He has just eight career receptions for 94 yards and one lone touchdown.  As a former fifth-round pick, the Packers seemed to have higher hopes for Davis and the speed he brings to the field.

While he hasn't been able to shine as a receiver, Davis has done some work as a kick and punt returner.  

Davis has 34 kick returns for 771 yards and a long of 34 yards in two seasons.  During that same span and as a punt returner, Davis has 33 returns for 404 yards with a long of 65 yards.  

Those aren't flashy numbers, but Davis still represents a viable option as a return man on special teams coming into 2018.  This year's first-round pick, Jaire Alexander, is a cornerback but can also return punts.  The drafting of Alexander was said to possibly spell the beginning of the end for Trevor Davis as a Packer.

The Packers need Alexander to contribute right away as a cornerback and so may prefer to ease him into an expanded role where he's also returning kicks.  If that is the case, Davis may get the nod on the receiver depth chart.

Davis may also benefit from the current make up of the Packers roster.  With just three tight ends currently, there is a very good chance that the Packers will keep seven wide receivers. 

Assuming Green Bay doesn't sign a veteran pass catcher between now and the beginning of the season, Davis has a chance to be one of the last receivers on the depth chart along with the likes of Deangelo Yancey and Michael Clark.  Both Yancey and Clark have practice squad eligibility so that may factor into the Packers' decision on their final roster.

Right now, Davis is a luxury.  He has two years of pro experience and is still extremely fast.  He doesn't represent a big help to the passing game but his presence will also not force the Packers to settle on another return man who may not be as reliable or productive.

Or the Packers could give the nod to Clark and Yancey and turn the return duties over to Alexander and send Davis packing.  

How do you see things shaking out for Trevor Davis come summer's end?

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (46)

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NickPerry's picture

May 14, 2018 at 06:33 am

"How do you see things shaking out for Trevor Davis come summer's end?"

I think Gutekunst answered that when he picked 3 WR in the 2018 draft. Unless Davis really starts to show something as a receiver who can contribute to the passing game I think he'll have a hard time sticking this year.

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gr7070's picture

May 14, 2018 at 07:34 am

This.

He's been brutal on special teams on most plays. He's too light to do anything but return. He's had a horrible time deciding when to fair catch and when to actually make a return. Granted, he's had a few electric returns, but it's not enough to make up for the terrible decision making and inability to play WR.

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dobber's picture

May 15, 2018 at 10:28 am

By all accounts, Davis was playing some gunner opposite Janis the latter part of 2017. I can't say that I noticed him per se, but if someone has access to FO or PFF grading, they could let us know how he ranked, but he possibly benefitted from playing opposite "the Janis".

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GBPDAN1's picture

May 14, 2018 at 08:12 am

I agree, N.P.

If the Packers were high on any of the WRs behind Adams and Cobb, I don't think they would have drafted 3 WRs. And the Packers are right, there's nothing special about these other receivers, so far.

Davis made the team last year because of his return skills, which are somewhere between average and good. I'd like to see Alexander take over the return duties, but, exposing him to more chances of injury is not ideal due to the need at CB and Alexander just came off an injury filled year in college. Cobb is to valuable as an 'experienced' WR to expose to injury as a returner, also.

Davis is obviously on the bubble because he hasn't shown much as a WR. But, he's got a chance to stick because who else is a good option (better than Davis) for return duties aside from Alexander and Cobb? Can one of the 3 rookie receivers return? So, it comes down to the affordability of keeping a roster spot for the one dimensional Davis, which due to the new influx of talent, is going to be hard. I think Davis will be cut.

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Finwiz's picture

May 14, 2018 at 03:40 pm

Your comprehension of the obvious never ceases to astound me.

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GBPDAN1's picture

May 14, 2018 at 06:55 pm

Lol, thanks, Finwiz. I know the comment section is for us to base our opinions. I definitely took the long road basing mine by thinking (writing) outloud so to speak.

I should have just cut to the chase and said: 'I believe Davis will be cut'.

This way I wouldn't have irritated you, which of course is so important to me, lol.....hang in there. Your day will get better.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

May 14, 2018 at 06:47 am

Unfortunately, every receiver after Adams and Cobb has one or more "holes" in their game. I'm hoping the coaches can fix those weaknesses and BG can ignore draft status and keep the top producers. With the supposed re-writing of the playbook "from scratch," it's quite possible that the young veterans don't have the usual "leg up" on the rookies. I think Moore has the best shot at being the number 3, as his only real weakness is "concentration drops"--that's easier to fix than the other guys' issues.

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Packer_Fan's picture

May 14, 2018 at 07:09 am

Davis is on the bubble. Alexander can do the return duties if needed. There are too many receivers on the team. One, but preferably two need to step up and play like a starter this year. Who will it be? Allison, Davis, Clark, Yancey or any of the three draft picks. Seven WR's for only four roster spots ( assuming total 6). I don't think any of these are assured of a spot, for none of them have played that well or like the draft picks, unproven.

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TheVOR's picture

May 14, 2018 at 06:04 pm

Totally agree. Never liked Davis AT ALL, Zero, Nada! Dudes a terrible return specialist, and an even worse WR.

He's camp fodder at this point, any guy they drafted is a better WR. He's fast, unfortunately that never equated to "good".

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Donster's picture

May 14, 2018 at 07:09 am

So far, Trevor Davis has been a waste of a roster spot, especially as a receiver. As a returner he has made many mistakes, fair catching when he had room to run, or inside the ten. It is obvious that Rodgers hasn't had any trust in him, though part of the time Rodgers was out with his shoulder injury. If Davis cannot step up as a receiver in camp this summer, his days are numbered. Drafting three receivers shows the lack of depth and the uncertainty after Adams and Cobb, and TE Graham.

Jaire Alexander was a successful punt returner for two seasons at Louisville. Another reason for Davis to be real nervous about making the team.

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gr7070's picture

May 14, 2018 at 07:31 am

Option #1 is to cut him.

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 14, 2018 at 07:41 am

I think in order for Davis to make the 53 this year he has to contribute on offense, or else has to be an electric return man.

He did show signs of being a dangerous explosive return man but he simply was to inconsistent. Letting balls hit the ground when he should have caught them. Or catching punts inside the 5 yard line.

The one way he might be able to contribute more in the offense is with this new approach they are taking on offense. Perhaps they will find ways for him to use his speed.

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Archie's picture

May 14, 2018 at 12:24 pm

I agree. And, based on his college days, he should be able to. It's hard to understand his regression since joining the Pack. Something ain't right in Denmark. I still believe he has a chance to explode in year 3 as a WR. If not, he probably hits the road Jack, and don't look back.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 14, 2018 at 07:54 am

If McCarthy releases Davis, it will be yet another sign we need a new coach.

1. This fanbase apparently doesn't understand just how atrocious the blocking is on our special teams. With the pitiful openings produced by our sad sack unit, Davis's production was remarkable.

2. Using our top pick on returns divides his focus from learning coverage while exposing our most important draftee to hits from gunners. That is stupid on more levels than I can count.

3. Davis has more than just speed. He also has excellent hands. His weakness is route-running, which will likely continue to improve.

4. The options are laughable. Allison is an average bench receiver offering zero special teams value. If we release him, it's no lock that any other team will even offer him a tryout. Same for Yancey. Clark should be kept along with Davis, but they offer very different skill sets. None of the rookie receivers are noted returners.

Drafting those 3 receivers should cost Allison his job as the 8th guy out of 7. But if McCarthy cuts Davis, it will be yet another sign McCarthy has lost all competency.

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Tundraboy's picture

May 14, 2018 at 10:02 am

"Using our top pick on returns divides his focus from learning coverage while exposing our most important draftee to hits from gunners. That is stupid on more levels than I can count"

Count me in on that camp. They have to be able to find someone other than Alexander.

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Since'61's picture

May 14, 2018 at 11:28 am

????? ALP why does releasing Trevor Davis mean that we need a new HC? Davis is a marginal player at best, he's shown nothing as a WR and he has hurt the team with his terrible decisions on fielding punts inside the 10 or even 5 yard line. He may have some upside but he has yet to show it. If he does earn a spot during this TC I'm all for keeping him but he needs to do so as WR not as a punt returner. There are other players who can fill the punt return role besides WRs and certainly besides Tevor Davis. Thanks, Since '61

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Coldworld's picture

May 14, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Where is Davis going to break in to the starting lineup in even a 4 WR set? He may have great hands but he is a small build player who has not mastered routes in 2 years. Unless he has future Cobb replacement potential that I haven’t see, I am not seeing him as a pro bowl caliber returner worth keeping a better prospect off the team (except to stop Alexander having to do it).

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Archie's picture

May 14, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Do we really need any more signs to know that MM is the problem, not the solution, in GB? The guy doesn't know talent when he sees it and his offensive schemes are simple and outdated, much like Dom Capers' were on defense. No wonder he thought DC was a great coach only a year ago. Why Mark Murphy can't figure it out is a whole other question.

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dobber's picture

May 15, 2018 at 10:34 am

"Allison is an average bench receiver offering zero special teams value"

Allison played a little over 1/3 of the special teams snaps for the Packers in 2017. The fact that we all believe that he offers little here, tells us the impact he made on those plays.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/gnb/2017-snap-counts.htm

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 14, 2018 at 08:24 am

Cobb would certainly be my next choice, but he's shown to be brittle enough just playing receiver, so I wouldn't want to release Davis and have Cobb as our lone return option.

Fact is, Cobb's contract has been disastrous. I've no problem salvaging whatever we can from him to justify some of it, and I'd also have no problem with releasing him to save cap space for 2019 and beyond. We could move Montgomery back to the slot, offering a less savvy but much more physical option.

But Davis is more explosive on returns than Cobb, wayyyyyy cheaper, and not as brittle. I definitely wouldn't release Davis with Cobb as my fallback option on returns.

As for firing Zook I don't know if that's the answer. Fact is, Ted assembled such a wildly unathletic bottom of the roster, assembling quality special teams was impossible. Let's see what Gute can do.

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Razer's picture

May 14, 2018 at 07:58 am

Hasn't distinguished himself as a WR, isn't making good decisions on fielding punts or at airports - doesn't look good. As Nick Perry points out, drafting 3 WR this draft tells you all need to know.

Reworking the offensive scheme should help some of these receiver prospects. There should be no reason why a guy needs 3 years to shine with a QB like Aaron Rodgers. Either way, I hope someone steps up and shines in 2018.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 14, 2018 at 09:48 pm

"There should be no reason why a guy needs 3 years to shine with a QB like Aaron Rodgers."

And yet, other than Cobb as a rookie, that has been the case. So, why are so many suggesting that Davis shouldn't get three years when almost every non-veteran receiver to play with AR has needed 3 seasons?

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GoPackGo GoPackGo's picture

May 14, 2018 at 08:36 am

Considering all the injuries to our CB every year, do you really think it's smart to throw them to the wolves on special teams?. I think our new corners need to focus on learning the defensive scheme and not on special teams. Keep Davis this year. If he hasn't improved as a WE by the end of this season release him.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 14, 2018 at 08:42 am

Well stated. Couldn't agree more.

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ebongreen's picture

May 14, 2018 at 09:06 am

Another vote for keeping Alexander off punt return duty. Until another candidate among the less-critical players steps up, Davis is the most experienced candidate and the incumbent. He’s likely to stay based on that alone. He’s a bubble player, but returning is a valuable skill, even if we might wish for someone better.

Another options, IIRC, would be Aaron Jones, but I’m not sure you want a starter-caliber HB doing punt returns either.

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Tundraboy's picture

May 14, 2018 at 11:42 am

"Considering all the injuries to our CB every year, do you really think it's smart to throw them to the wolves on special teams?"
No. Our team, our recent history, our need for a top draft pick at CB to succeed? Maybe once or twice in a NFCCG or the SB and even then I'm leary.

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dobber's picture

May 15, 2018 at 10:36 am

Would your opinion change if Alexander comes into camp, gets outplayed by Jackson, and ends up sitting at #4 or #5 on the CB depth chart?

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GoPackGo GoPackGo's picture

May 14, 2018 at 08:56 am

WR**

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 14, 2018 at 09:16 am

When did being third in the NFL in punt return average mean not flashy? I complained about muffs last year in practice, but that wasn't a problem during the season. I agree that Davis' decision-making - if it wasn't due to yet another really bad ST Coordinator - was poor.

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Spock's picture

May 14, 2018 at 02:42 pm

TGR, Well stated on the 3rd in punt return average. I was on the "poor decisions" bandwagon for Davis until Oppy (I'm pretty sure it was him who put in the link info.) put in a link in to an article on the ACTUAL success rate for catching/not catching punts inside the 5 or 10 yard line. It changed my thinking about the axiom "let the ball go inside the 10 yard line". I've never figured out how to access previous comments on this site, so hopefully someone can find that link. The statistics were shocking to me and I DO wonder if Trevor was coached to catch the ball in those situations!

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flackcatcher's picture

May 14, 2018 at 03:11 pm

Yeah, I don't get all the hate for Zook here guys. ST took it on the chin with all the injuries. Zook kept those units intact and functioning at a pretty high level last year. Davis was fine as a punt returner and gunner. Why he has not grown as a WR is as much a coaching issue as it is a player issue. I believe most of the recent problems has been McCarthy's inability to adjust to the cut down OTA and short training camp. But that a league wide issue with most HC in the NFL.

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jasonperone's picture

May 14, 2018 at 08:46 pm

Third in average yards by itself isn’t enough for me to deem them “flashy”. I wasn't looking at the numbers in a vacuum. He had one bigger return.

On the subject of Davis's decision-making, check out Zach's piece. I'm not sure the blame and irritation is properly placed at the feet of Zook.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 14, 2018 at 10:11 pm

Not sure if this is the same link, but I posted it on APC 10 days ago. It includes touchback probability if allowed to bounce.

1 Yd Line = 83%
2 Yd Line = 80%
3/4 yd line = low forties
5 Yd Line = 40%
6 Yd Line = 39%
7 Yd Line = 32%
8/9 yd line = 26%
10 yd Line = 12%

Warning: There is math. This is a deep dive into punting; that is, the article is probably more info on punting than most care to study.

https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-sports-analytics/jsa164

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Oppy's picture

May 15, 2018 at 04:29 am

This is the article I originally had posted the link to about a month ago, it's an article where the author looked at isolated data from 2015, but it paints a very similar picture as far as probabilities of a ball left unfielded rolling out of bounds vs. going through the endzone, etc.

With what this data suggests, I wouldn't be surprised if more and more ST coaches across the league are instructing their punt return men to call for fair catches from 5 yards and out to ten if they aren't confident they have the room to gain a couple of yards SAFELY, as ball security near your own endzone is paramount. What is clear is that letting the ball hit the ground instead of either fielding it or calling for the fair catch from 5-10 yards is statistically speaking, a fairly poor choice.

https://thebiglead.com/2015/11/18/fielding-punts-inside-the-10-in-the-nf...

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 15, 2018 at 10:56 am

Nice article, Oppy. The one I posted is for all of 2013. It has tons of facts. The big lead article is very interesting as well. Both articles make one understand why teams are fair catching punts, particularly if they are shorter ones such as from mid-field, even as close as 6 yards from the end zone.

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Oppy's picture

May 15, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Your article you found is a ridiculously meticulous breakdown.

I'd even call it scientific. Very thorough.

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TJ Coon's picture

May 14, 2018 at 09:41 am

I remember a pass from Rodgers where he was wide open and had a chance to make a big play. The ball was thrown with the usual precision and it basically bounced off the numbers on his jersey. That was his shot and he blew it.
I can't see the Packers keeping Davis just because he's had a few good games on special teams. Time to start fresh and develop the new guys. I really like the young man from USF and think he might be the one who surprises everyone. 6'4" 4.37 40???

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holmesmd's picture

May 14, 2018 at 02:43 pm

MVS

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Oppy's picture

May 15, 2018 at 04:36 am

I remember dozens of catches that bounced off James Jones' numbers, or were bobbled of his fingertips, or just plain got stone-handed because he was worried about the Y.A. before he secured the C.. He had multiple shots, and blew them.

Rodgers and the Packers worked through it because they saw the talent, and it turned out pretty good for all parties involved. Both times he was here.

Sometimes you have to trust that the guy on the practice field will show up on the big stage with some time and effort. I certainly don't know when it's the right time to give up on a player and when you have to continue to foster him, but I'm pretty sure one single drop, no matter how horrendous, isn't enough to ignore all the scouting, practice, and investment that has been poured into a player.

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EdsLaces's picture

May 14, 2018 at 09:42 am

If we put our number one pick deep to return kicks...i fold.

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4thand1's picture

May 14, 2018 at 10:26 pm

Davis is just one of 90 guys trying to make the roster. There are the usual players who are going to be on the team and a dog fight for a lot of others. MM seems to be high on what guys do in practice and treats pre season games as purely practice, as they should be. Davis took one to the house in pre season which I think cemented his spot on the team last year. There were a lot of changes with the coaching staff this year , except STs.

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Archie's picture

May 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Davis needs to make a big jump at WR in year 3 or he's toast at cut-down time.

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croatpackfan's picture

May 14, 2018 at 12:32 pm

It is not worthy to defend Travor Davis. Big majority here decided that he is bust.

Untill some other team pick him and make him decent player. Then, mentioned majority will start to lament how Gutekunst and MM made mistake when cut him...
(Here I'm using history as teacher - Hayward, Hyde etc.)

Ah, I amost forgot that many can not forgive Trevor Davis for one thing. That he prove he is better than Jeff Janis...

That was his death sentence for many Packers fans...

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flackcatcher's picture

May 14, 2018 at 02:57 pm

JANIS! (SOB........0:)

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Archie's picture

May 14, 2018 at 12:32 pm

Unless we hit a home run at WR this year, I can almost guarantee that we will draft a WR in top 2 rounds next year. It's a crime for AROD not to have weapons and WR may take more time than any other position to become NFL ready. Which means it might be too late already.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 14, 2018 at 10:15 pm

A veteran WR who is a good route runner should be a consideration in free agency, though the price tags scare me.

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