Pros: Big, physical, and top athlete with good speed. Has good ball skills, burst, and breaks quickly on the ball. Works well on short routes such as slants. Does a good job keeping things in front of him when working in zone. Has good strength and ﬂashes potential in run support. Has good hands and is a capable returner. Shows potential in press coverage due to his size and strength.
Cons: Needs to be more disciplined. Overly relies on athleticism to make up for his mistakes. Inconsistent in run support and doesn't consistently show interest. Despite his size, he's too easily blocked by smaller receivers. Needs to improve his technique as a tackler, as he expects his size and strength alone will bring down ballcarrier. Can get beat deep because he doesn't turn and run well. Not quick to diagnose play, despite ideal burst and closing speed. Looks too much for the big play rather than the smart play. Can get caught looking in the backﬁeld at times.
Overview: Davis is the younger brother of Vernon, who plays with the 49ers. And like his brother he's a superb athlete. One of the best in this draft class. But Vontae continues to show immaturity. He was benched at one point this year because of it. He hasn't mentally caught up with his body in terms of ability, and needs to play more disciplined. He's ideally a zone corner, but has the athleticism and upside to be a star in man coverage. He could also move to safety if he ever becomes more consistent in run support.
NFL Forecast: Davis's success at the next level will largely depend on himself, not really his scheme. He has to do the maturing, and if a guy is at this point in his career and hasn't done so yet, I'm not conﬁdent he ever will. Davis is the very deﬁnition of a low character player. He's gotten by all his life because he was almost always the best athlete on the ﬁeld, and has not ever really tried to develop his techniques and all the little details that make you successful at the pro level. Unless that changes, I have the strong feeling he'll be a big time disappointment at the next level. As far as his upside goes, he deﬁnitely has the potential to be one of the elite corners in the league. He's a good zone corner already, but because of his athleticism, size, and quickness could make an excellent man corner as well. This makes him versatile and capable of playing in any scheme.
ATL Forecast: Davis could be another DeAngelo Hall. Would he be successful here in Atlanta? Probably. But would he ever live up to his upside? Probably not. He's just like Hall was, in all the talent in the world to be an elite corner, but never wanting to do all the little things to accomplish it. I don't think Davis would ever consistently develop into the top corner needed to match up with the likes of Steve Smith and Marques Colston, that the Falcons need. But he would likely become a starter with two or so years because of his athletic potential. Davis would likely be a very good starter some weeks, but bad the others, and just would be ﬁlled with inconsistency.
Value: In terms of athleticism and potential, Davis belongs in the Top 10 of this draft. But once you factor in his character, it drops him to a second round pick. There you should draft him because you don't have as much ﬁnancial risk if Davis continues to not "get it." Otherwise you risk paying millions to a guy that doesn't think he has to work hard to achieve.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
MAN COVERAGE: 3.0
ZONE COVERAGE: 3.5
BALL SKILLS: 3.0
Scouting Reports of cornerbacks in the 2009 NFL draft.
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