The 2017 WR Prospect Championship: (2) Corey Davis vs (12) Chris Godwin
The RotoViz Wide Receiver Prospect Sweet 16 Tournament matches the top incoming prospects in a head-to-head March Madness style format. Various RotoViz writers break down each match-up with the winner moving on to the next round.
(2) Corey Davis vs (12) Chris Godwin
Davis enters the Championship as the highest remaining seed. With unmatched production, Davis has breezed by Josh Reynolds, Curtis Samuel and John Ross. An injury kept Davis from competing at the combine, but it hasn’t seemed to affect his draft stock. Davis remains the WR to beat as he remains in contention to be the top overall player selected in rookie drafts. Will Davis’ draft acquisition cost be his downfall against the surging Godwin?
Chris Godwin has been the Cinderella of the Sweet 16 ball. Godwin managed to upset Zay Jones, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Taywan Taylor en route to the finals. Godwin seems to offer the perfect match of production, athleticism, and draft cost. For those that find themselves drafting towards the end of Round 1, Godwin would be a solid value with the opportunity to develop at the next level. Can Godwin complete the upset over the uber-productive Corey Davis?
Blair Andrews – Corey Davis: It was fun pretending this outcome was ever really in doubt over the last couple weeks. Davis has rightfully been a RotoViz favorite for years now. Godwin is an intriguing prospect with a fair amount of upside, but he’s simply overmatched here. Davis is the all-time FBS leader both in receiving yards and in 100-yard games. He’s second all-time in TDs and fourth in receptions. And he did all this at a young age while playing for an otherwise anemic offense. Western Michigan averaged barely more than 250 passing yards per game during Davis’s career. This combination of elite raw production and an elite market share is rare.
Anthony Amico – Corey Davis: There is one elite talent in this class, and that talent is Davis. While I think Godwin has some nice upside at a decent price, Davis is the only WR1 I feel really good about posting multiple WR1 seasons. His career market share of receiving yards against the Power Five (0.38 in nine games) is better than the final year msYD for 20 of the 25 WRs taken in the first round since 2011. If you add weight and an expected draft position of No. 15 overall to the factors rated most important in Kevin Cole’s regression tree analysis, Davis’ top four comps are Roy Williams, Kenny Britt, A.J. Green, and Chris Chambers.2 Davis is the 1.01 in this class and the best WR in this bracket.
Matt Wispe – Corey Davis: I’m a fan of both of these prospects, but Davis is the clear top prospect in this class. He led FBS in dominator rating in 2016 and had four productive years at Western Michigan. Add in Corey Davis’ first round draft stock and implied workload associated with the draft capital and Davis is the top pick in rookie drafts.
Matthew Freedman – Chris Godwin: I like Davis, but I’ll take the guy who’s younger, almost as big, almost certainly more athletic, much less expensive, and coming from a Power Five conference. I think I’ve been on the losing side of almost all these wide receiver matchups. There’s no point in stopping now.
Charlie Kleinheksel – Corey Davis: Props to Godwin for making it to the finals where he’s the obligatory sacrificial lamb for Davis. A 0.46 career Dominator Rating is hashtag elite, and he lands in the most-likely-to-succeed node of Kevin Cole’s WR decision tree. He’ll also have better draft pedigree.
Shawn Siegele – Corey Davis: It’s an interesting and fairly deep group of WRs this year, but the class lacks firepower at the top. The real question now for Davis is whether he can hold off Fournette, McCaffrey, Cook, and Mixon for the No. 1 pick in rookie drafts. Our combined rookie mock with DLF suggests he will.3
Heith Krueger – Corey Davis: I’m simply echoing the sentiments of my fellow RotoViz writers here, but even with how great a prospect as Godwin seems, he’s no match for Davis – breaking out at 18 years old, a 16 yards per reception career average, and one of the few receivers that profiles as a possible No. 1 in an NFL offense.
Justin Winn – Chris Godwin: Who was the better rookie draft value: Sammy Watkins or Allen Robinson? Pretty easily Robinson. Now I’m not saying Godwin’s a Robinson-level prospect or will be a Robinson-level pro, but Godwin does have a profile with no significant blemishes, several highlights, and figures to be available in the late first or early second. Davis is absolutely worth a top-three pick, probably the top pick overall, and he figures to be drafted around there. There’s no significant discount from his inherent worth. I think there is a pretty sizable discount for Godwin relative to his inherent worth.
Scott Smith – Corey Davis: Landing spot and athleticism seem to be the only two questions remaining for Davis. Godwin has done well for himself during the draft process. With underrated athleticism and two years of really solid production, he checks most of the boxes I look for in a prospect. The real question for Godwin comes down to cost. Is Godwin cheap enough to overcome the production advantage? Ultimately that won’t be known until draft time…so, for now, Davis is the champ.
Corey Davis wins the crown of top RotoViz WR Prospect for 2017. Davis’ production has just been too much for anyone to match. An ankle injury has not affected his draft slot, and Davis remains in the running to be the first WR off the board come draft day. As for Chris Godwin, he showed well for himself as a WR prospect on the rise. Over the last few weeks, Godwin has come to the forefront and is now being viewed as a top-5 WR prospect in this draft. Landing spot could ultimately play a huge part in the development and opportunity for both of these rookie WRs. No matter where they land, Godwin and Davis figure to be two of the better options when your rookie draft rolls around.