Corey Davis, Vincent Jackson & P.J. Fleck

February 23rd, 2017


A little newly-revealed Bucs history has ties to Tampa Bay’s potential moves in April’s NFL Draft.

Tears won’t be shed by many if the Bucs go receiver in the first round. To keep Bucs fans sane, Tampa Bay must upgrade from Russell Shepard, Josh Huff, Bernard Reedy, Cecil Shorts and Freddie Martino in a huge way.

And a fresh look back at 2012 helps illustrate what could await the Bucs with their No. 19 overall pick.

Once upon a Schiano, the Bucs had a brand new, young wide receivers coach to start the 2012 season. His name was P.J. Fleck, a short, crazy-high-energy guy just 31 years old.

Joe was lucky enough to see Fleck coach several practices, and the former 49ers receiver was relentless energy and attention to detail. He wore cleats. He chased down Buccaneers trying to strip balls. He was loud.

Fleck was a hell of a coach. A novice could see it.

That led to Vincent Jackson having a career kind of year, and mattress-in-the-yard Mike Williams was dominant.

Not one — not one — Bucs receiver caught a ball and fumbled it that season.

Fleck quickly moved on in 2013 to do a stunning and spirited resurrection job as head coach at Western Michigan University, which helped him score the top job of the University of Minnesota this year.

He recently explained to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press that getting through to Jackson and Williams were career-changers for him.

During their first meeting, Fleck recalled telling Jackson, “This is probably very awkward for you.” Jackson’s previous position coach with the Chargers was Hall of Fame receiver Charlie Joiner.

“(Jackson) said, ‘I’ll be honest, I’ve been coached, but I haven’t been taught extreme detail and fundamentals and truly taught the position,’ ” Fleck recalled. “If you can teach that to me, I’ll listen to you because I want to start in the Pro Bowl.”

There’s much more in the linked story from Fleck. Joe highly recommends it. Fleck explains that Williams resisted coaching but finally relented. Interesting stuff.

This all brings Joe to wide receiver Corey Davis, the blue chip receiver from Western Michigan entering this year’s draft. Fleck had his hands all over Davis through the past four seasons, and Joe is certain that translates into one NFL-ready beast.

Consider this breakdown from Bucky Brooks.

Davis is the smoothest route runner to enter the draft since Amari Cooper. I know that’s a bold statement based on Cooper’s immediate impact as a pro, but the Western Michigan standout has an NFL-veteran-like game that jumps off the screen when watching the tape. From his slick route-running skills to his spectacular ball skills and acrobatic footwork, Davis looks like a plug-and-play prospect at first glance. He displays a unique set of skills for a big receiver (6-foot-3, 213 pounds), which is why some scouts are salivating over his potential at the next level.

As a route runner, Davis shows remarkable timing, deception, balance and body control. He has all of the tricks needed to get open on the perimeter. Although he excels on intermediate routes (curls, speed outs, and digs), he possesses enough speed, quickness and body control to sneak past defenders on vertical routes, particularly on double moves on the outside.

Davis’ polished route-running ability and high football IQ will serve him well as a receiver with the potential to play inside or outside in any system. A clever offensive coordinator can move him around in various formations to exploit mismatches on the perimeter or put the WR1 candidate in the best position to thrive against any coverage.

Davis may not be the burner many Bucs fans covet, and he will have to adjust against top-tier cornerbacks. But if Davis really has the “NFL-veteran-like” game described — very likely considering his ex-coach — then what a great fit he would be for the Bucs and their savvy playcaller.

40 Responses to “Corey Davis, Vincent Jackson & P.J. Fleck”

  1. ManzielMadness Says:

    If cook isn’t there or costs too much, go get him.

  2. Bucsfanman Says:

    I would not be disappointed if they drafted this kid! Speed is great and all but, can he play football? We NEED football players!

  3. Strider ....Sec 147 Says:

    Let’s get him !! Doubt cook even makes it to mid teens

  4. Jameisbucsfan Says:

    This makes sense to me. I salivate over the thought of cook. But this guy would be a great consolation prize.

  5. bucs_365 Says:

    This is my number 1 player for the Bucs. I am not in the Dalvin Cook camp – I think he’s not big enough to be an every down player in an offense that wants to be physical running the ball, and I worry about his injury history, plus some off-field concerns. Corey Davis needs to be in a Bucs uniform if we can get him.

  6. Clearwater Wes Says:

    I have watched a lot of film on receivers for the up coming draft because it needs to be addressed badly and I feel Corey Davis is the best receiver in this draft he has good speed, can go up and make contested catches, good route runner, good size so if he was available I would jump all over him.

  7. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I’m all for this pick.

  8. Gilhealy Says:

    I always thought this kid should be our first pick. I doubt he’ll make it to #19. He’ll be the first WR off the board, and everyone could use his talent. Tennessee picks before us and they want a WR. I would not be surprised, or disappointed if we move up to grab him. I’ll take the hits from ‘youse guys on moving up, but I do believe his stock is worth the risk. Jameis, Evans, and Corey will be a serious problem for any defense.

  9. Negative Jeff Says:

    If he runs a sub 4.4 40 the bucs won’t be able to touch him. Any slower, he will be there for them.

  10. MarineBucsFan Says:

    Corey Davis highlights are amazing, if you haven’t seen them yet youtube it. If he had the same TV/Media attention Mike Williams had he would be the clear #1 WR prospect. After the combine, he will climb up draft boards.

    Come pick 10 on draft night I am going to be a nervous wreak, I feel like Cook and/or Davis will come off the board soon after. Which means every pick after that I will be watching closely hoping the Bucs move up to get the other. I want one of these two players so bad.

  11. MadMax Says:

    I didnt know about the Fleck connection until now. Nice reporting Joe! Makes me want him more!

    Sign DJax, and if Davis falls out of the top 10 (which I doubt), I would be fine with trading up for him. A next year’s 3rd may have to come into play.

  12. captjimbo Says:

    I’d be shocked if Davis or Cook are still on the board at 19. In which case if it were me I may or may not jump on them. There will be some high value skill players still on the board rounds 3 through 5. The value at line positions drops quickly after the first couple of rounds. Take DL/OL rd1 and 2 and get our skill guys after that. Of course as we all know the whole draft is contingent on how FA goes.

  13. MadMax Says:

    Actually a next year’s 2nd!

  14. LakeLandBuc Says:

    The Tennessee Titans has the 5th and 18th picks, both are before us. It’s best to believe that they will not pass on Corey Davis twice. Jon Robinson has 7 picks in the 1st 102. And he won’t let too many good players get past them.

  15. USFBUC Says:

    We just have to see what happens in FA. Right now I think the Bucs would take Cook over Davis and Davis over Howard. My two favorite WRs in this draft are Davis and Jones.

  16. LakeLandBuc Says:

    My Bad..I meant 4 picks in the Top-102.

  17. Viejo_Sombrero19 Says:

    COREY DAVIS been saying it since I saw the highlight reel. According to experts he is the real deal and all the lesser competition BS is just that BS

  18. Buc1987 Says:

    Viejo_Sombrero19…I’ve been stuck on Davis for over a month now.

    If they stay put and don’t trade up for Dalvin, yet this kid lands in their laps. Grab him and don’t look back.

  19. Buc1987 Says:

    The only player I would be okay if they trade up for is Dalvin as long as it’s not too high cause it might cost a crap-ton.

  20. Supersam Says:

    Enough with this Dalvin Cook crap, there ain’t no way in HELL Licht will draft a kid who was always in trouble and not to mention was Winstons right hand thug in college!! Yea he was the one with Winston when they got popped for shooting BB guns on campus. Get over it! He’s not coming to Tampa so move on.

  21. StPeteBucsfan Says:

    If all these guys we really want are gone by 19 no Dalvin…no Cory..Id love to turn #19 into a couple of seconds. Plenty of potentially good players left. Take some real deal making from Licht though. Ive never really rooted for a JBF poster but Im hoping NOSBOS is right DC in the first.

  22. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    It is still early. We haven’t even seen these guys work out yet. Some will rise some will fall. I predict that Davis NOT being able to run @ the combine will cause him to slip a bit, and budda baker will skyrocket after the combine. It also hasn’t been mentioned, but Tim Williams is the best pure pass rusher in this draft (ala Noah Spence) and he will be there in the 2nd. Can’t have enough pass rush.

  23. SB Says:

    You guys DO understand that Davis, and Williams will be Off the board before we pick don’t you? If it is a WR you covet then do research on Anyone but those two.

  24. Buc1987 Says:

    It’s thug-like to carry a BB gun.

  25. Supersam Says:

    Do your research. He’s already been linked to having “gang member” friends. Yea that’s all we need on this team.

  26. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Corey Davis will probably miss the Combine, but that shouldn’t hurt his draft status.

  27. Bill Says:

    The biggest issue with Davis are the drops. He has one of the worst drop rates in the draft at 10%. Take that for what it’s worth, but combine it with a disappointing 40 time and he might slip.

  28. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    “Supersam Says:
    February 23rd, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Yea he was the one with Winston when they got popped for shooting BB guns on campus.”

    That’s interesting, because that happened in 2012.

    In 2012, Dalvin Cook was a junior at Miami Central H.S.

    Do you just save up all your stupidity to dump on us here, or do you share it equally with everyone?

    Good research, Einstein.

  29. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Yall good on jbf but I cant none of you to bet money we drafting him. Wimps. Joe any truth to we just cut Verner. Im at work my partner just text me.

  30. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Usually prospects who miss the combine and pro days slip a little. There will be doubt within the scouts if they haven’t seen him work out in person. The combine can most certainly make or break a prospect. Byron Jones was not even a 2nd round pick until he broke the long jump and the cowgirls drafted him in the 1st.

  31. Buc1987 Says:

    Supersam…yep and Jameis was going to bring “his posse” with him to Tampa if the Bucs drafted him.

    Women’s groups were going to line the streets of Dale Mabry in protest.

    I’ve heard it all before…

  32. Pickgrin Says:

    Davis at 19 would be a great pick. But just like Cook and Williams who are the only other 2 offensive skill position players we should be realistically coveting in the 1st – Davis will not be there at 19.

    Assuming all 3 are gone at 19 and we haven’t moved up for one of them, I’d go OJ Howard at #19 if he is on the board. If not then either Taco or Barnett at DE.
    NO to John Ross!!!

  33. NCFlorIdiot Says:

    Why “NO” to John Ross Pickgrin? He’s not my guy or anything, just honestly curious why you’d pass on him if the others you listed are gone.

  34. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Buccs will need to trade-up to get Davis…he won’t make it to 19 overall.

  35. Pickgrin Says:

    NCFlorIdiot. Bad value IMO. I’d take Ross with our 2nd round pick of course – but I don’t see him as an exceptional talent. He’s a good player – but speed is his best attribute and I just don’t see him being worthy of a 1st round pick. Don’t like his slight build either unless he’s coming out of the slot. And you don’t spend a 1st round pick on an intended slot receiver. Its just my opinion of course and I could be wrong about Ross. Time will tell.

    Frankly – I’m not big at all on choosing WRs (or RBs) in the 1st round period. But we do have a pretty big need at those positions – and if you can fill a major need with an exceptional talent (like Cook or Williams or Davis) without paying too much – then you go ahead and do it.

    Otherwise – Licht needs to just get the best football player he can when our turn finally comes in the 1st round. And I seriously doubt that John Ross will be at the top of our board at 19.

  36. Destinjohnny Says:

    With that receiving core we had which was almost the worst in the nfl we traded up for a kicker.
    How’s does that work?

  37. NCFlorIdiot Says:

    Pickgrin, thanks for your take, appreciate it… I think this year with us picking at 19 I’m falling into the BPA crowd (also in the O/D line crowd) and if there’s not a crazy talented player at 19 I’d even favor us trading further back in the 1st round for another 2nd round pick (if Licht can make it happen) only because it seems this draft is very stacked well into the 2nd round… That would give us 3 talented players in potentially the first 64 picks of the draft. Ultimately though, I do trust that Licht will make the best choices for our team… Very excited!

  38. NCFlorIdiot Says:

    Hell, on top of that Licht could use the 3rd and 4th to move back into the 2nd round… That would give us 4 picks in the top 64, I’d be excited about that! No kickers though LOL!

  39. SteelStudBuc Says:

    Good reporting. One of the best articles I’ve read here in awhile.
    The only problem u didn’t note was the decline of said Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams upon Fleck’s departure… Really motivated coach… Unmotivated players??? Or bad coaching afterwards….

  40. Matt Says:

    Could you imagine drafting him and picking up D Jackson in FA! Maaaan