Underrated Carlton Davis

May 10th, 2021


For the past couple of years, Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians has beaten the drum that Carlton Davis is Tampa Bay’s shutdown corner.

You never hear much of that from anyone outside of Arians and Aqib Talib. Oh, Joe’s not saying Arians is wrong. But the best corner? You hear a lot about Jalen Ramsey or Marlon Humphrey or Xavien Howard or even Marcus Peters.

Well, perhaps we need to adjust our minds?

The PFF tribe dug up an interesting stat on Davis. It seems no one the past two seasons has forced more incompletions than Davis. No one.

Yeah, Joe understands that Davis got roasted badly by Cheetah Hill last season. How did Davis bounce back in the playoffs, including the Super Bowl when Cheetah was a virtual non-factor?

With another strong season, Davis just might be thought of as one of the NFL’s elite corners. Oh, and the better he plays in 2021, the worse it’s going to be on Team Glazer’s checkbook. Davis is now in a contract year.

36 Responses to “Underrated Carlton Davis”

  1. Bucsfanman Says:

    I think Davis is a better than average corner. He gets beat like any other corner from time to time but, I trust him when he’s in the game.
    “Best”? Well, he’s ours and we are the CHAMPS!

  2. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Carlton Davis is a little too grabby. While he does fare well in length and size, he tends to be a tad slower than the elite CBs in the NFL. Definitely a top 10 – 15 CB in the NFL but I don’t think he has the speed to be a top five shutdown corner.

    Personally, I believe Jamel Dean has a highest ceiling of all the Bucs CB. He has the size and speed to be an elite shutdown CB. Even Sean Murphy-Bunting has the speed and length to be very good. Both showed top 10 potential late in the season.

  3. Leighroy Says:

    Impressive, CD has come a long way in 3 seasons.

    I was also impressed to learn on the same list that LVD w 10 is tied for 1st in the league at LB, and JPP is right behind him at 9. Let’s see Devin white creep up this list in 2021!

  4. HeyItsAdam Says:

    Maybe it’s just that we saw a lot of 75% completion percentages agains the Bucs and his performance got masked by that…..

  5. Bird Says:

    He had a horrible packers playoff game
    He got beat on all our big plays

    But top 10 ish is good for me
    Lets see what he does this year .

    Cool stats for sure. Not a speed guys but good quicks and is physical

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We need to extend his contract giving him a raise this year (if we can)….saving us money over the longer term.

  7. DingleBerry Says:

    “Joes not saying Arians is wrong”

    No, but you did say he was wrong last year. You scoffed at the notion thar Carlton Davis could be a top 10 corner let alonr a shutdown corner. And you even came up with a derogatory nick name for him. Carlton “Flags” Davis.

    People don’t forget.

  8. DingleBerry Says:

    Davis is absolutely a top 10 and maybe even a top 5 corner.

    Literally the only blemish to be found on his 2020 resume is that he couldnt cover Tyreek Hill on an island..

    But guess what? Nobody can cover Tyreek Hill on an island. Coach BA and Aqib Talib are 100% right. He is one of the best corners in the league right now and will only continue to get better.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Carlton has continually improved year-to-year, and it’s hard to ask more than that. His 18 PDs in 2020 and 19 PDs in 2019 were far-and-away the highest on the team. Folks tend to focus too much though on ‘shutdown corners’ I think, instead of looking at the total Secondary performance.

    The longer these guys play together (Davis, Dean, SMB, Whitehead & Winfield) the better off our TEAM will be. They all got a bunch of defensive snaps last season for a reason (Davis 904; Dean 708; SMB 882; Whitehead 918; Winfield 1034). Two other guys got quality snaps also last season: Cockrell (237 def snaps) and Edwards (188 def snaps). Edwards in particular amazes me, because he just keeps making key plays when he’s out there (2 INTs, 1 FR, 5 PDs while on the field for only 18% of our defensive snaps).

  10. Jonny Says:

    I am not sure if this has to do with change in rules, but there are no Revis island type corners in the NFL anymore. Davis, like someone else mentioned, is above average. A good comparison would be Johnathan Joseph that played for the Bengals and Texans and had a productive and respectable career. But because there are not many stud corners in the NFL currently, Davis may break the bank with a good season

  11. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    Idk I feel like he isn’t that great

  12. Colin in Canada Says:

    Davis is the 26th ranked corner in Madden for whatever thats worth…

  13. Waterboy Says:

    Davis is a good outside cb who is physical but lacks elite speed to match up with shifty & fast WRs. He is very good against tall WRs so he will always have a prime spot in the league. I dont think he is top 10 cb but in the range from 10-20! I would not break the bank to resign him if he is not willing to play on a reasonable deal- if he wants top five cb money then I kindly pass and sign a vet cb that will gladly come here to chase a ring!

  14. DingleBerry Says:

    Madden is more garbage and inaccurate with player ratings than it ever has been. Lamar Jackson fumbles pretty much any time he get touched in that game. It hasn’t been simulation football for years.

    And for those questioning how good Davis is and saying he lacks elite speed and this and that. Just remember that the guy shut down every receiver that he covered last year not named Tyreek Hill.

  15. Lokog Says:

    And he is a Super Bowl champion

  16. lambeau Says:

    To my surprise, Dean was rated in the top 10 by PFF for coverage last season–Carlton barely made the top 50. SMB had a rough uneven year, which makes me wonder why Dean only plays in the nickel package.

  17. Swampbuc Says:

    I mean, what would Arians know about the quality of a football player? And what would Aqaba Talib know about playing cornerback?

    Oh, wait…

  18. Swampbuc Says:


  19. 813bucboi Says:


    well said…i agree…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Seeing Carlton fall on the ground while giving up a TD in the NFC Championship Game, and other times he just does not give me confidence that he is going to be consistent. In spite of whatever stats that are shown. I can still see him just basically in panic mode against the Tyreek Hill in the first Quarter of the 1st KC game. I really do not care about the name on the back of the jersey, as far as favorite players. After watching football for 45 years, I just want to see the team win. Just play well. Growing up as a fan, you would have favorite players, but the team would be losing with these players. I just care about the name on the front of the Jersey. The secondary is an area that definitely needs improvement and CB is on the list.

  21. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Seeing Carlton fall on the ground while giving up a TD in the NFC Championship Game, and other times he just does not give me confidence that he is going to be consistent. In spite of whatever stats that are shown. I can still see him just basically in panic mode against the Tyreek Hill in the first Quarter of the 1st KC game. I really do not care about the name on the back of the jersey, as far as favorite players. After watching football for 45 years, I just want to see the team win. Just play well. Growing up as a fan, you would have favorite players, but the team would be losing with these players. I just care about the name on the front of the Jersey. The secondary is an area that definitely needs improvement and CB is on the list.

  22. Joe Says:

    The secondary is an area that definitely needs improvement and CB is on the list.

    Joe really doesn’t understand this unless people’s standards are Darrelle Revis in his prime at both corners and nothing else is acceptable.

    One could argue Davis is a top-five corner. Sean Murphy-Bunting tied a record for most consecutive playoff games with a pick. The Bucs shut down one of the greatest offenses in the history of the NFL to win a Super Bowl. Held them to three field goals.

    The secondary simply cannot be that bad unless people have preconceived notions it’s bad before the ball is even snapped (you know, like the devout Donovan Smith haters are convinced he’s a windmill despite having played damn good ball in the playoffs).

    Is Davis a Hall of Fame corner? Not yet. But dang, a good corner isn’t good enough? 🤷‍♂️

  23. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Well Joe, you watch the same games that we do, and watching Carlton falling on the ground in the NFC Championship game is still very vivid. Carton Davis just does not give me confidence that he will stay on his feet and make the play. He is not bad, but that is not the point, improving is. The secondary is not at all at the level of the front 7. We all watch the same games, and the secondary is an area that needs improvement for sure. As I said, I just care about the name on the front of the Jersey. GO BUCS!!!

  24. Buczilla Says:

    Davis is a good corner, but is he worth top 5-10 corner $ to our team? I could see it if he plays well again this season and the cap goes up significantly higher next year, but I wouldn’t be willing to lose someone like Godwin to keep him at this point.

  25. Looking at YOU! Says:

    I’m wondering how many of YOU have fallen down in your lives for one reason or another. I’m thinking ALL….
    I suppose for some of you, that means you SUCK for life.
    Did any of you get back up, dust yourselves off, learn from the experience, and get better? Or were you just worthless? Seems for some and according to your Very Unrealistic expectations, well I guess according to you, you were no more than a maggot…..

    Feel sorry for you and probably your children if you have any.

    It must be nice that you are personally so elite that you have never fallen down. I’m thinking it might be time to put down the joint your smoking and get real.

    Most people learn from those types of experiences and get better. They weren’t born on the tops of Olympus like you and they actually have to hone their skills and become great.

    Not for some of you. No, for some of you that are drifting in the clouds, “HIGH AS CAN BE”, well that joint you’re making clouds with that your walking on above the rest of the mere mortals is “some kind of high”. Let’s just call it, self sustaining….

    Who knows? Maybe one day Carlton can reach your lofty standards.

    I can’t recall, how did Carlton rebound from that “quarter” on? Sounds to me top 10 on the PLANET for a KID just isn’t good enough for some.
    You DON’T sound like a Buc fan that knows BETTER than that nonsense you’re talking though I know you’ve been around for awhile.

    You ARE letting things go to your head with our VERY recent success… Put the joints down man!

    The kid is ROCKING buddy! So how about some appreciation!?

    For him, it wasn’t how he started. IT WAS HOW HE FINISHED!
    TOP TEN ON THE PLANET, so far…..

    GO BUCS!

  26. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Looking at YOU! Says… GET real, the secondary needs improvement, go back and watch the last season, all the games. BTW I do not get paid to be a DB cover NFL players. A NFL CB staying on your feet is the first thing, and not unrealistic, it is what they get paid to do. This is not about taking shots at people. Simply about the Secondary improving. They are not at all the level of the front 7. And without the front 7 getting serious pressure on the QB, they would get roasted more. That goes for any defense. Who cares what the players name is, that is not the point. It is simply about improving the secondary, and again go and watch every game last year. Why do people take things and get all personal. I am a Bucs fan, that has watched them for 45 years. I do not care what the players name is, it is not about that, and not taking shots at players. Anyone who watched all the games last year can clearly see that the secondary needs improvement. GO BUCS!!!!

  27. Bucanero Says:

    He’s a good player on a contract year. He has to call out in 2021 to get $$$ I expect success out of #24

  28. BradyBucs Says:


    I’ve been one of the critics of our secondary. I think it’s by far the weakest area of the team.

    You posted above about SMB’s INT streak in the playoffs and how we shutdown the league’s top Offense, etc.

    Our PASS RUSH is what shut those teams down, not our secondary. The Packers and Chiefs both had some starting OL players out for those games. That matters.

    How come you don’t mention the Washington playoff game where we gave up over 300+ yards to guy that may not be in the NFL in a few years?

    Our pass rush in that Washington game didn’t get as much pressure as in the GB and KC games. Our secondary struggled badly at times because of it.

    Look at all those games where Shaq and JPP weren’t getting many sacks & pressures. They went cold for several games. In all of those games our secondary got TORCHED.

    Our Pass Rush and stellar linebacking corp has masked the major weaknesses in our secondary.

  29. DingleBerry Says:


    Wow dude. The nuggets on you. Aren’t you the same call who was calling me an idiot and a troll and fake fan for criticizing draft picks that have proven nothing in the NFL and could very well be busts?

    Now you’re gonna sit here and have the unmitigated gall to criticize and discredit the very secondary (which is still incredibly young and only getting better by the way) that just had an incredible post season in which they:

    1. Retired Drew Brees and made Saints fans, players and coaches alike all cry in the Super Dome.

    2. Stopped the NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau field in a game where they picked him off several times and forced numerous clutch field goals and punts after Brady had turned the ball over.

    3. Were very much a critical part of the defense that just choked out the Chiefs in a dominant Super bowl performance.

    How dare you criticize Jason Licht and his evaluation that our secondary is good enough! Really getting tired of seeing your posts you troll.

    See how your logic works when it’s turned against you?

  30. DingleBerry Says:

    aren’t you the same *guy*

  31. Pickgrin Says:

    I like Davis. He’s lacks speed to a degree – but makes up for it with length and good play. Carlton IS the Bucs most dependable CB heading into 2021.

    I like him a lot more for the Bucs with a cap hit of $2.75M this year – than I will in 2022 if he’s still here making $15M per year……

  32. BradyBucs Says:


    Nice try but I never stated you were a troll, etc. etc. I merely stated you were wasting everyone’s time with hundreds of the NEARLY IDENTICAL anti-Trask posts about his lack of arm strength. You contributed nothing to any sort of discussion after the first time you posted about it yet you kept posting it over and over and over. That’s why you’ve been called out for it but multiple posters on this site.

    As for the Secondary, YES, I will criticize them 100% because I wanted every snap last year and saw how many times they were beaten, out of position, took bad angles, and missed tackles.

    They played better because our Pass Rush was better. They’ve yet to shine when our Pass Rush has struggled. They were solely responsible for many losses last season because they got picked apart.

    SMB, Dean, and Davis are NOT as good as you think they are. Dean, after his pick six against the Packers in the regular season, failed to make many impact plays for most of the season. SMB got burned many, many times. Davis has been incredibly inconsistent.

    Unlike you, I’m not a casual fan that just looks at headlines and attributes team success to areas that don’t deserve it. I actually watch every play and notice the details aside from who got a 1st down (or gave one up) and what team won the game and by how much. We played better late in the season using more press man than zone, but again it was the pass rush that made the difference. Our corners need to prove they can play better when opposing QBs get protection. They didn’t do that against Heinecke in the playoffs as they got burned and burned often.

  33. Mike28277 Says:

    Don’t think Rhonde was the “fastest” either. I believe it took him a few years to be special.

  34. Dyno-White ! # 45 Says:

    No disrespect to Davis, but the only time LVD gets discussed is when the topic of most underrated lists come out. I mean LVD has even been called the most underrated player of this generation by NFL.com. We get more press than any team in the NFL, but Evans broke Moss first 8 year record and it was a footnote. Devin (Dyno ?) White puts up video game stats and can’t even get a Pro Bowl?

    Brady deserves every bit of admiration he gets! That said 3 of the most underrated players in the NFL are on the most watched team. If the Bucs weren’t so bad for so long , LVD would be HOF material. Thanks to the incredible turnaround Dyno White won’t be overlooked like LVD has famously been.

  35. DingleBerry Says:

    I confused you with BellegladeBuc and Baby Grace sorry about that. But you’re flat out wrong about our secondary. I’m not a casual fan and I took watched ever snap this team took last year. And while our secondary did make some mistakes they are still incredibly young, and absolutely did get better as last season progressed regardless of the pass rush.

    And Carlton Davis was absolutely a top 10 corner last year, that was my opinion based on what I saw him do against every receiver not named Tyreek Hill in week 12. And thats opinion that is shared by some of the best football minds that cover this team.

    Corner backs aren’t perfect, they can get beat, the most important attribute a corner has to have is the willingness to move past it and play with the confidence and conviction that they didnt get beat. And all of our guys have that quality where someone like Vernon Hargreaves clearly didnt.

    Also just because you didnt like what I had to say about Trash doesnt mean I wasn’t adding anything to the conversation. And I certainly wasnt just repeating posts verbatim but I also don’t care what you think.

  36. DingleBerry Says:

    Also you say you’re not a casual but then you say something false like they played more press man than zone when we literally played predominantly cover 2 against the Chiefs and played lots of zone all throughout the playoffs.