Special teams ace Dwayne Harris was banged up during the Raiders home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Harris provides stellar play as a return man, punt gunner, and overall special teams leader.
Perhaps in response to Harris’ injury, the Raiders reportedly dealt a 2020 6th round pick for a Packers player named Trevor Davis who had a similar role with his team. Much like Harris, Davis was the 5th receiver on the depth chart whose primary responsibility were as a returner and gunner. Unlike Harris, Davis isn’t particularly good at any of those things. Here’s a look at the new Raider.
You have to go back to 2017 to find a good return from Davis. Mostly fair catching his punt return opportunities so far this season, Davis also spent the majority of 2018 out with injury. 2017 was definitely his most prolific season as a returner, taking back 24 punts and 31 kicks for a combined 996 yards. He certainly can be an explosive athlete on the football field.
Dwayne Harris is a consummate professional who studies the rule book and routinely fields punts and kicks exploiting the rules in the Raider favor. Trevor Davis has been in the NFL for 4 years but somehow hasn’t learned you can’t signal for a fair catch and then lay a block. He drew this penalty last week against the Vikings.
Punt gunner is where you’ll find the worst film on Davis. Whether he’s getting knocked down, pushed out of bounds, or completely stymied by the corners assigned to block him, he can’t put together good film. There’s no need to beat a dead horse here, Davis can’t get by double teams.
He has trouble beating a single guy and ends up drawing a flag for interfering with a fair catch last week against the Vikings. The refs picked the flag up because he was blocked into the returner, but there’s a pattern of close calls with him on special teams.
Packers fans are upset they lost Davis because all the promise he showed as a receiver. Davis became a fan favorite Perhaps the plan is for Davis is for him to pan out in this area. He has not produced as a receiver up until this point in his career but that may be due to lack of opportunity. This was his only catch on the year—it’s clear the defense respects his deep speed.
You may remember Nick Nelson getting beat like a drum against the Packers this pre-season. That was mostly Trevor Davis who likely got on Mike Mayock’s radar after his performance in Winnipeg.
Davis has really struggled to find a niche for himself in the NFL and likely has stuck around due to his athleticism.
He is a four-year NFL veteran but makes mistakes like a rookie. In only a handful of snaps on the year Davis has already had 3 flags thrown on him this year, likely a reason why the Packers were willing to let him go.
If Davis doesn’t play gunner on punt and can come in on limited reps to add a speed element on offense he has a chance to work out for this team. Watching his film however doesn’t make you very confident in this happening.