Davis is now the veteran of the Hawkeyes’ receiving corps. With a very young stable of running backs and a new offensive system being installed by former Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis, expect Vandenberg to look towards his fellow senior security blanket consistently whether looking for a first down or searching for a downfield threat.
Davis played second-fiddle to Marvin McNutt (6th round choice) through most of the 2011 season (50-713, four TD), but shined when given the chance; for example, his 10 receptions for 129 yards and a score against Pittsburgh helped the Hawkeyes score 21 points in the fourth quarter for a dramatic come-from-behind win. The combination of those numbers with his five-catch, 109-yard effort against Northwestern last fall actually surpasses his receiving totals during his first two seasons on campus (4-55, TD in 2009; 11-131, TD in 2010).
Presents an NFL build with good height and overall strength, could be a good number two starter. Versatile receiver who works in the slot and outside. Runs a lot of shallow/medium crossers and gets vertical when the offense allows. Flashes quickness after the catch, sheds defenders on comeback routes to get upfield. Attacks targets as a blocker in the run game, willing to sustain.
Possesses only average straight-line speed and hands. Hears footsteps going into the middle on occasion. Loses concentration in traffic, inconsistent winning jump balls, even against smaller defenders. Could be quicker off the line to threaten his corner’s cushion.
Davis is an NFL-sized receiver with the quickness to make plays after the catch (50 receptions for 713 yards, four scores in 2011). Now that Marvin McNutt is in the NFL, he must become the team’s best vertical threat despite his average speed, as well as a more reliable third-down option to go over the middle to move the chains.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.