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No Receiver’s Seat Is Hotter Than Trevor Davis’

Brian Gutekunst confirmed what most of us already knew regarding kick and punt return duties in Green Bay. The Packers GM appeared on Aaron Nagler’s podcast “Nagler’s Never Right” via CHTV’s Patreon page stating the job is “wide open.” When healthy, Packers wideout Trevor Davis has had a firm grip over of that role emerging as one of the more consistent returners in the NFL. However, when you look at Davis’ impact as a receiver and Green Bay’s specials team as a whole, it’s obvious why it could be anyone’s job. The young 26-year-old receiver still has a chance to make some noise in training camp and win the job outright but his seat is likely the hottest of any other wide receiver currently on the team.

The Packers recently claimed former New York Giant receiver Jawill Davis who was a return special in 2018. This comes after a 2018 offseason in which Green Bay drafted three wide receivers and first-rounder Jaire Alexander who was a solid punt returner during his time at Louisville. 

Clearly, the team has options but no one emerged during last year’s atrocity that was Ron Zook’s unit. Davis had little impact as he was limited to just two games dealing with an injured hamstring. In his defense, when he was available, there was a noticeable improvement to the Packers’ third team. 

Davis was far and away Green Bay’s best punt returner last season and he also showed promise as a gunner. It was nice to see from the former fifth-round pick who has made very little noise outside of punt return duties. 

His receiving numbers leave a lot to be desired as he’s never panned out to be the deep threat the Packers thought he might become. Davis has shown very little growth as a receiver unable to gain much separation downfield while being limited to very few snaps on offense. 

J’Mon Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling have made a push as both saw time at kick returner in 2018 with Moore showing a little more upside. His 25.5-yard average led the team last year which was the only highlight of his rookie season with his many miscues at receiver. 

In all likelihood, Davis will be the starting returner right out of the gate, but there is plenty of ascending talent around him that can easily push him aside. The team rarely holds onto more than five or six receivers which would probably need to happen for Davis to have a chance at the final 53. Alongside last year’s three draft picks, receivers Jake Kumerow and Allen Lazard have just as much if not greater ability to contribute on offense compared to Davis. 

Davis will have to distinguish himself outside of being just a return man if he has any hope of being a part of next year’s team. 

 

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (56) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Somedumbname's picture

I'm beyond ready to move on from Davis. As a receiver, you should at least be serviceable as one.

Coldworld's picture

Not really a receiver in any real sense at all to date. More a special teamer approaching the end of his contract. Good returner once going but who has never scored a TD, has displayed questionable decision-making and awareness and has struggled to be active on game day.

Returner is a thankless task. One poor decision to leave or return can outweigh the value of any yards gained. In his case, that has largely been the case with Davis.

He hasn’t won a spot by being the next best receiver available at any point in his career and I don’t expect him to do so this time. As far as I am concerned, absent that he is solely a ST player and I would prefer one with positional upside.

If a competent alternative returner emerges in camp with more upside at whatever position on the O or D then Davis should need to be a revelation at receiver to keep his spot in my view.

jannes bjornson's picture

Not a guy to hang your hat on. Curious about Shepherd for the KR/PR job.
His crew did nothing but win for NDSU.

Coach JV's picture

Yeah... he has to be able to play his position group too.

Remember the Superbowl when Bush had to come in at CB after Woodson and Shields went down? I've never been more scared for our secondary in my life... but thankfully he did alright. ST aces are fine, but they need to be serviceable at their position.

I don't think Davis has that in him.

TheVOR's picture

So not a fan, dude has no game at WR, move on already.. Geesh..

Slim11's picture

The physical ability is there having seen him in actual games as well as on television.

What concerns me more than anything is his decision-making on the field. I've seen both extremes. I've seen returns where he reads his blocking very well. Perhaps his highlight was in 2017 against Cleveland.

I've seen horrible decisions to fair catch inside the 10-yard line putting the offense in deep holes. IMO, decision-making is his biggest weakness.

Old School's picture

I think it's a stone cold lock that barring injuries, our WR group will have Adams ,Allison, MVS, ESB, and one other player active on gameday. The possibilities include Moore, Davis, and Kumerow. One player can be on the 53 man squad but inactive. And we'll probably have somebody on the Practice Squad but Moore-Kumerow-Davis aren't eligible.

Of course I don't think that we should ever return punts, so his value as a punt returner is nothing for me.

And as a kick returner...….he's OK. But you don't keep a guy on the roster just to return kicks unless he's Travis Williams.

SCLI's picture

"And as a kick returner...….he's OK".
These stats are not OK. The only positive I see. NO fumbles. He is ZERO threat to opposition. He cant play WR. He cant return Punts & IMO, he cant return Kicks. He has no value to the Packers.

Kick Returns:
total returns-35
total yds-791
Avg-22.6
Long-34
TD-0

Firstdown's picture

Actually, his value is huge to the Packers. He gets 700k or so this year, and his value, as the best returner, in the league is 2-2.5 mil. Can't return punts? His career punt return average is 12.1 yards, and that's with several long ones being called back. If the new coach cuts down on the stupid penalties, Davis will lead the league by a long shot this year.

As far as kick returns, his long last year, of two returns, was 55 yards against Seattle, but of course it got called back. He averaged 37.5 yards per return last year in a game and a half, when he had to be rusty and not used to game speed. In 2017 he had several long ones called back, or his average would have been much higher.

He was rated the #1 returner in 2017 by Pro Football focus. He got more out of less than any returner in the game. Even his 65 yard game-saving punt return against Cleveland was done with almost return blockers, as McCarthy went for the block with 9 players.

And he's a better receiver than returner. Any of you guys who play fantasy football will make a killing with Davis this year.

Johnblood27's picture

Thank you for your input Mrs Davis...

fthisJack's picture

"he's a better receiver than returner." and you know this how?

Firstdown's picture

In his senior year in college at Cal, he lead all power five conference receivers in YAC, with 9.5 yards per (and they played the 11th hardest schedule in the country that year). He was also in the top five in lowest drop percentage, at 1 1/2 per cent.

His QB, the first pick in the draft, improved his QB rating every time he threw Davis the ball. I'm from Cal, I study the stats. Davis isn't just a good or excellent receiver, he's elite. You guys in Green Bay will eventually figure this out.

porupack's picture

Two problems with your defense of TDavis;
1) if its called back, then....it didn't happen. Good chance the penalty was part of why he got the negated long return.

2) It is not important how much TDavis accumulated in return yards. The better question is; how much MORE yards did TDavis get compared to the next option (or at least an average fill in). This is the cost-benefit of a single role player like TDavis and his yards worth it, compared to getting another young WR or CB to return kicks as well as get game experience.

I would believe the double benefits of putting in a young CB or WR are better than the measly extra yards Davis might get over the average.

porupack's picture

OS,
why is Moore not eliglble? Didn't think he was active for the required number of games, and/or under new players agreement that he can be reinstated to PS. THanks.

Firstdown's picture

He was supposed to catch the punts inside the 10, Zook didn't want them to hit the ground. He's never fair caught a ball at the 5 yard line or closer, he's had one at the 6, and two at the 8 or 9.

Bad things happen when the ball starts bouncing. The moment it hits one of our guys it's a live ball. Only starting at the 3 yard line is the ball more likely hit the ground go into the end zone for a touchback than not.

So either he fair catches it, or he runs the risk of fumbling the ball because the tacklers are too close and he gets hit before he secures it.

Ball security is the #1 priority in returning. Davis' most important stats are- no muffs, no fumbles. His decision-making is his biggest strength.

Coldworld's picture

Regardless of what you saw in College, I can assure you that he has looked completely out of his depth in the NFL as a receiver.

Old School's picture

I agree with all that. Ball security is #1. And bad things happen when punts hit the ground.

If you could guarantee me right now that in 2019 we wouldn’t have any turnovers, penalties, or successful fakes on punts....I’d take it and be happy.

Duke Divine's picture

Another Mr. Glass...lucky to get 7 games with Davis healthy. Consistent returner prone to injuries. "Prone to injuries" applies to 40% of the freaking roster of returning players. So sick of injuries derailing the season year after year.. The 1 healthy year in the last decade and they blow it in the NFCCG.....SMH.. Hopeful nonetheless.

fastmoving's picture

they won it all with 15 or something guys on IR!
this is the NFL. all Teams have injuries and all fan bases think they are hit the hardest.

To win a SB you have to overcome alot and first of all injuries and bad luck. Complaining and crying is only for loooosers

Duke Divine's picture

22 of 22 starters healthy for 2014 NFCCG... Didn't have to overcome injuries that year. Just couldn't overcome themselves. I'm bitter but hopeful and healing. And ya don't have to be a dick about it.

Duke Divine's picture

Point being Davis not worth a roster post.

fthisJack's picture

roster spots are valuable and he hasn't lived up to being on the 53 and i don't think he will all of a sudden explode on the scene as a WR.

fastmoving's picture

Yeah, the most important Player was healthy like hell. at least one of his legs!!!
And the coaches will evaluat Davis after TC and decide what to do. So we dont know yet, we have no idea and we will see. He is and was not bad and has a fighting Chance, like most of the guys.

albert999's picture

Dump him

PackfanNY's picture

Davis has added very little on special teams and is a zero on offense. Time to fill his spot with someone who might stay healthy and contribute. Football is a production based meritocracy, let’s move on.

Bure9620's picture

Do not see any place for Davis on this roster.

Ryan B Dub's picture

What’s right with Trevor Davis?

Coach JV's picture

Time to move on from this kid. No hands, no route running ability, and can't get separation. And on ST, Jarrett Bush he is not.

We have the other Davis from NYG, and drafted a RB... perhaps they can return K's and P's...

Firstdown's picture

No hands? Top five for low drop percentage for Power Five colleges his senior year. His last full year, 2017 at GB, no drops and no fumbles, either at receiving or punt returning or kick returning. What could be better than perfect? No separation? Lead the GB receivers in 2017 with 2.29 yards separation per target. No route running ability? Really? How would you know?

Coldworld's picture

We watched the games. Problem with stats, particularly such a small sample, is that they are highly dependent on context.

In this case, 5 receptions in largely in garbage time constituted his entire production in the year you cite, 2017: 5 receptions for 70 yards, ave 14 with a long of 29.

That represents a meaningless sample as a comparative. He has only 8 receptions for his career although he did deliver one receiving TD back in ‘16 on 3 catches.

rdent's picture

To be honest I'm surprised they kept him this long.

CheesyTex's picture

2019 Packers: A year for change, and we are seeing a lot more youth, speed and athleticism on the roster.

IMO special teams needs improvement more than any other facet of the game, and am anxious to see what the new coaching staff brings to the table.

So I think that means goodbye Davis and hello to a new face that can also contribute as a back-up.

Tundraboy's picture

Nice guy. But another area where there has to be someone in the country that can be a return threat .

Lphill's picture

The Packers were a badly coached team the past few seasons and it came to a climax last season , competition is good and seems like almost every position except QB is challenged nobody’s job should be taken for granted, may the best man win and let’s have the best on the field .

ShooterMcGee's picture

I have been of the opinion that the team should put 3 players back to fair catch the ball on every punt, never letting the ball touch the ground. All other special team players either rush the punter or do nothing but guard against a fake. They should not try to block! I believe they would have better average starting field position this way. This would eliminate the ball that bounces for 20 yards and all the holding penalties. All we would need are 3 players that could fair catch a punt.

Analytics guys analyze this!

B-Pack's picture

I believe Kumerow has practice squad eligibility remaining.

Davis has to go. He is a good punt returner but the packers can’t afford to hold a roster spot for a “one trick pony”.... his roster spot needs to go to someone that can bring more to the table

Jonathan Spader's picture

Practice Squad Eligibility Rules:

Not all players are eligible for a practice squad, especially if they’ve been in the NFL for several years and/or played in a number of games. In 2016, the NFL adopted a modification to the practice squad rules that allows up to four players per practice squad to have two accrued seasons, making it easier for teams to have experienced players on their practice squad. In the previous agreement, only two players with two accrued seasons were allowed to be on a practice squad.

Other than those four players, eligibility is limited to players who have been on an active roster for fewer than six games, or were on a 46-man active gameday roster for fewer than nine games.

A player is allowed on the practice squad for up to two years, with one year counting as six weeks in a season. A third year on the practice squad is only allowed if the team keeps 53 players on their active roster at all times (which every team does).

Kumerow's NFL Career:

Kumerow signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent on May 8, 2015.[3] He was released on September 5, 2015, and was signed to the practice squad the next day, where he spent his entire rookie season.[4][5] He signed a reserve/future contract with the Bengals on January 11, 2016.[6]

Kumerow was released by the Bengals on September 3, 2016, and was signed to the practice squad during the next day.[7][8] He was promoted to the active roster on December 27, 2016.[9]

On August 9, 2017, Kumerow was waived/injured by the Bengals after suffering an ankle injury and was placed on injured reserve.[10] He was released on September 22, 2017 with an injury settlement.

On October 26, 2017, Kumerow was signed to the New England Patriots' practice squad.[11] He was released on November 9, 2017.[12]

On December 26, 2017, Kumerow was signed to the Green Bay Packers' practice squad.[13] He signed a reserve/future contract with the Packers on January 2, 2018.[14]

On September 3, 2018, Kumerow was placed on injured reserve.[15] He was activated off injured reserve on December 1, 2018[16] and made his NFL debut the following day, in a week 13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He also recorded his first career reception, an 11-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers, during that game. On December 23, he scored his first NFL touchdown on a 49-yard reception against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

NitschkeFan's picture

Kumerow is 27 years old and has yet to prove he is an NFL starter. I haven't seen him play enough to know how good he is, but the fact that he is 27 and yet to earn his place means he is a long-shot at best to make the 53 man roster.

Coldworld's picture

He earned a roster spot last year. His age isn’t a plus but then he is also not a rookie. Looked at dispassionately, he isn’t a burner but appears to run good routes and have field awareness. Could easily play effectively for 5 years. If the team likes him, I doubt his age will deter except as part of the upside comparison.

Jonathan Spader's picture

"The team rarely holds onto more than five or six receivers which would probably need to happen for Davis to have a chance at the final 53."

2018: 8 (Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Geronimo Allison, Trevor Davis, J’Mon Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown, Jake Kumerow

2017: 6 (Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Trevor Davis, Jeff Janis, Geronimo Allison suspended for week 1)

2016: 7 (Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis, Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis, Trevor Davis)

Hard to say how many WRs GB will keep for 2019 Adams is the only lock for me. ESB, MVS, Allison are good bets. Kumero & Moore are on the bubble. Shepard's, Davis & Company are your longshots with Davis having a slight lead. Can't wait to see these guys compete in Preseason!

Lare's picture

First of all, the PR needs to catch and hold onto the ball. Davis has done a pretty good job of that and not turned it over.

Other than that Davis hasn't shown much in the WR department. Catching the ball is the number 1 requirement of a WR or returner. If they can't do that they need to find another job.

Firstdown's picture

Davis' seat on the team isn't hot at all. GB isn't looking for Davis' punt returner replacements, they're looking for his backups. And he's a better receiver than he is a return man.

Duke Divine's picture

Where is this footage supporting this hidden?

Coldworld's picture

Lol, sure, that’s why we just signed two returners and the GM just announced its an open competition.

Stu M's picture

You gotta go way back to his senior year in college....

zeroluv's picture

I would like to see Darrius Shepard win that job because I think he can also add much needed value at the slot position if he can transition to the NFL speed. He was graded right behind Andy Isabella who was drafted in the 4th round and many people had Shepard graded higher.

I think Davis should be traded if someone will give a 6th or 7th round pick for him as a returner while he has some value left with his young age. Also....Gutey should look into trading Montavius Adams while he is healthy and still has some value appeal. Start to compile picks for the 2020 draft now since the Pack won’t have any compensatory picks. I hate when teams just cut players that have value. Even the Raiders traded their PK to the Bears last week and got a 7th for him.

splitpea1's picture

With all due respect, any returning veteran vying for a spot on the special teams unit should be on the hot seat.

Qoojo's picture

WRs shouldn't be sitting down anyway. Keep them lean and fast.

albert999's picture

Dump him again

RickInCali's picture

Firstdown - don’t try and use facts here to make a case.... All seriousness....I don’t see it, but then again - how can we know? Funny how people forgot that Glanville hated Favre.....Warner was bagging groceries and on, and on. Exactly why I’d like to see more from Kumerow who certainly passes the pre-season smell test, not to mention how AR basically lobbied for him. Let Davis have a fair shot too.

wildbill's picture

Seems like Davis never breaks tackles. He runs weak. I have numerous Packer games from the last few years taped and have seen him break a very poor arm tackle but it’s very rare. The times he has gotten a good return, the alley was such that any decent return man would have gotten a good return. That being said let’s replace him with someone better, don’t just drop him to save a few bucks

wildbill's picture

Seems like Davis never breaks tackles. He runs weak. I have numerous Packer games from the last few years taped and have seen him break a very poor arm tackle but it’s very rare. The times he has gotten a good return, the alley was such that any decent return man would have gotten a good return. That being said let’s replace him with someone better, don’t just drop him to save a few bucks

Donster's picture

I think they have already moved on from Trevor Davis. He is another of TT's mistakes. He is lousy WR. Period. Most teams can't afford a roster spot for just a kick/punt return specialist anymore. And he isn't much of a specialist either.

By signing UDFA Darrius Shepard, Jawill Davis from the Giants, drafting Dexter Williams, who did some punt returns at ND, I feel Davis is gone. Maybe even before camp. Release him now and sign any experienced or rookie ILB, where they need another body to try out, since it is the weakest area in the Pack defense.

LambeauPlain's picture

Davis was a very good return specialist in 2017 when he stayed healthy. But last year, like 2016, he was hurt.

Kid can’t stay healthy.

Watch Sheppard!

D Ernie's picture

Hey the only reason he was retained was to return kick offs. He is not and has never been a receiver in pro ball, at least not one you could use and rely on. I say his ass will be cut before the start of the season.
Heck I think one of out other receivers who is not a rookie will be cut too.
The three guys we got last year were so so at best. Poor route running, poor hands, no blocking, lack of speed to separate. Someone in that group has to go. Maybe even two of them?????

NMPF's picture

As you look around the league, WR#1's and a couple #2's have the ability to work themselves open no matter what the D does. The other WR on most rosters are strictly (if successful) products of their systems. The grade school Off. scheme which the D coordinators caught on to by 2012 or so is not a true way to evaluate what talent is on this roster. Lets get to camp and get a couple of preseason games under our belts before the next Jordy or on the other end the next Janis is anointed.

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