Cory's Corner: Danny Davis' Little Things Will Be Great

The wideout that racked up over 1,600 career receiving yards at a run-first school is about to surprise plenty of people. 

I cannot wait for training camp. And the reason is simple: I love to see the guy that nobody gives a chance, surprise everyone. 

This year that guy is Danny Davis. The Packers seem to mine undrafted gems every year and he looks to be another one of those. He is tied with Al Toon with 131 career catches at the University of Wisconsin — good for eighth in school history. That’s not a small feat at a school that is more concerned about running you over than throwing it to you. 

In 11 days, everyone will be watching every move by second round pick Christian Watson. They will be studying if Allen Lazard can take the demand of an increased role. They will see what kind of a leap Amari Rodgers can make in his sophomore season. And they will be scrutinizing every step Sammy Watkins makes. 

But nobody is going to be paying attention to Davis. He has very good route running and his hands are superb. Those are two qualities that any quarterback would dream about having on his roster. 

“I’ll do anything for this team,” Davis said during minicamp earlier this summer. “I’m looking forward to it, just showing what I can do.”

And that’s exactly the mindset he needs to have. He knows that his back is to the wall right now. He will be getting plenty of reps at wideout during training camp, but he also needs to show that he is capable of helping this team out in other ways as well. Whether that means being on the punt or kickoff teams, so be it. 

What needs to come bursting through is his energy and enthusiasm. He needs to prove not just that he belongs out there, because there are loads of guys that belong. The question is, does he have that extra ingredient to make Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst and Packers coach Matt LaFleur think, “We can’t not have this guy on our team.”

This is a perfect time for a guy like Davis to join the Packers. The wide receiver room is basically a clean slate after Davante Adams went to Las Vegas. Basically the entire room is guys trying to prove themselves and show that a certain No. 12 can trust them. 

Davis has proven that he can high point a ball, outrun the secondary and lower his head to get the first down. He has faced a lot of challenges on a team that has had inconsistent quarterback play. 

But all that is about to change. He is going to a place where precision and perfection are not just praised, they are an expectation. And that’s why Davis has a real shot to raise some eyebrows in camp. 

The little things he did in Madison earned him a chance to be on one of the best pro football teams in the country. And it’s those little things that will catapult the 6-foot-1, 188-pound wideout to even greater heights. 

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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3 points

Comments (20)

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stockholder's picture

July 16, 2022 at 07:19 am

Nay. No room. 4.6 forty outruns a Defense? 188 pounds is too light. Maybe you should tell us about the Tes.

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Coldworld's picture

July 16, 2022 at 09:19 am

There is always the chance that a player flat out surprises. While I don’t personally see Davis as likely to blow up the expected pecking order, if he can we all win probably. The problem is that I don’t see the physical attributes: he will have to belie testing metrics as well as college tape.

If I was looking at a player who was not drafted by us and is relatively recently acquired to come out of nowhere against all odds, I might look at Kobe Jones (OLB)—all the pieces but as yet never consistently clicking or Tre Stirling (S)—played through injury in college now fully diagnosed, treated and recovered. Maybe even Gafford (CB)—elite speed and good hands for a CB. If I had to pick a possibility on O, it might be Mack (TE) or Caleb Jones (T) among those not drafted by us.

I Look for the guys who flash but don’t seem to have consistently put it all together and particularly at those whose back story may provide a reason performance that didn’t reach their potential due to unfortunate circumstances or health.

It’s part of the joy of camp to watch for the hidden gem. Once in a while one emerges. Here’s hoping for a Sam Shields (UDFA) or Tramon Williams (UDFA Texans) type talent is hiding on this roster at any position.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 16, 2022 at 01:53 pm

Agree. Definitely have to be a top athlete to be a good WR in the NFL. Oh wait

https://twitter.com/MathBomb/status/850179273377886208?t=vzZeZNvMshlYjR9...

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dobber's picture

July 17, 2022 at 10:29 am

How many of this year's vaunted top WR class were 190 lbs. or less?
Garrett Wilson: 6'0", 183
Jameson Williams: 6'1", 180
Chris Olave: 6'0", 187
Jahan Dotson: 5'11", 178
That's 4 of the 6 first-round WR.

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Coldworld's picture

July 17, 2022 at 12:17 pm

The average weight of a WR in college is 190 pounds. The average NFL receiver is about 200 in recent decades. However, slot receivers are typically smaller and there are a number of them in your list. 190 at draft time is not outside of the bell curve. There is also the fact that many players don’t reach their optimal playing weight in college. To a certain extent, players like Williams may have been taken with the expectation that they will add mass in the NFL.

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dobber's picture

July 17, 2022 at 01:20 pm

Just poking at the blanket statement "188 pounds is too light". Seems that four teams had no problem drafting a WR with a primo pick that has similar HW numbers to the Packers' minimal risk UDFA WR.

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Guam's picture

July 16, 2022 at 07:42 am

I am an avid Badger fan and have watched Davis for several years. Willing blocker, very good hands, good route runner and, by all accounts, a very good kid, but he simply does not have the speed or quickness to separate from top flight college corners, much less pro CBs. He will not make the 53.

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Since'61's picture

July 16, 2022 at 10:28 am

If Davis makes the team it will need to be as a Special Teams player. I don't think that he has the speed to make it as an NFL WR but you never know.

FYI, Jersey Al or Nags. A minor note; your Packers schedule shows the December 25th game against Miami as an away game however it indicates that the game is at Lambeau Field. You need to correct that to say Hard Rock Stadium. I know it's a minor point but it is also an easy fix. Thanks, Since '61

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LambeauPlain's picture

July 16, 2022 at 11:49 am

Heart and desire are great intangibles to help separate from the pack. Just like the other DD.

Driver was mostly an afterthought his rookie year but showed enough to stick around and took advantage of limited opportunities his first two seasons. The rest is listed in the Packers all time receiving record book.

Danny has a more prolific college receiving record than did Donald. But he is not nearly as athletic. Driver's leaping ability made him like a 6'6" WR. He was consistently out high-pointing the ball over CBs.

But the NFL is well represented by late draftees and UDFA, several who became all pros.

Bloom where you are planted, Danny. (also, if you can, seek Donald's advice)

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Coldworld's picture

July 16, 2022 at 05:12 pm

Driver was an accomplished college track star who ran a 4.45 40 and qualified for the Olympic trials as a high jumper.

He was a raw receiver but an explosive athlete when he arrived. He certainly had the drive and determination to make it, but he always had elite level athleticism.

4 points
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dobber's picture

July 17, 2022 at 10:08 am

Driver was way behind Davis in catches (by about 50), but his ypc was almost 20 in college....so he outgained Davis by about 200 yards. Not a bad flier for a 7th round pick.

Davis made his share of catches--and I'll echo others' sentiment in that he had some piss-poor QB play to work with--but he wasn't a high-volume guy, nor was he a focal point of the offense. He also has a history of serious concussion.

He's going to have to make it on smarts, grit, determination, and good fortune.

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Coldworld's picture

July 17, 2022 at 12:20 pm

If his route is going to have to include special teams, the concussion history may prove highly relevant.

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dobber's picture

July 17, 2022 at 01:06 pm

Yeah, it doesn't pair well with someone who's going to have to play high-risk football to make the 53.

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freddisch's picture

July 17, 2022 at 11:12 am

Plus he had to contend with some of the worst UW QB play in the Big 10

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lou's picture

July 16, 2022 at 02:35 pm

Don't rule him out, he made plays against really good Big 10 teams time after time no matter what his 40 time was (John Ross with the fastest 40 has done what to date ?). The Packers recent WR and TE drafts have been busts (JMon Moore - Jace Sternberger - soon possibly Amari Rodgers), their best current WR is undrafted free agent Alan Lazard for reference so it can happen.

3 points
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Guam's picture

July 17, 2022 at 07:59 am

I don't remember Davis making plays against the Ohio States and Michigans of the Big10 (elite corners), but often had his biggest days against the lesser Big 10 teams (Purdue, Illinois, etc.). Just never saw the ability to separate from the kinds of corners he will face in the pros.

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marpag1's picture

July 17, 2022 at 06:51 am

"Hey, Danny! Show us your little things!"

Uh... maybe not.

Came to Wisconsin, stayed for 5 years, never got better. Had virtually ZERO special teams experience at Wisconsin. Ho-hum athleticism and even ho-hummer production made him undrafted for a reason. Nevertheless, I'm confident that he will do every bit as well as that other Badger/Packer great, Jared Abbrederis.

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freddisch's picture

July 17, 2022 at 09:10 am

His college statistics were negatively effected by the fact that the UW had some of the worst QB performance in the Big 10. Don’t underestimate this kid

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

July 17, 2022 at 11:25 am

No room this year. I see a PS guy that could make the 53 next season when we move on from some veterans.

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Oppy's picture

July 17, 2022 at 05:43 pm

Making the practice squad will be a big accomplishment for a WR of this caliber. If he does that, maybe someday he gets a crack at the 53- but it'd be a 1000:1 longshot of this young man making the final cut for the 53 in 2022.

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