Expect Corey Davis to bounce back for the New York Jets in 2022
Over the last two offseasons, the New York Jets have generated a tremendous amount of excitement through their additions in free agency and the draft. One of the early additions that brought great optimism was Corey Davis in March of 2021.
At the time, Davis was 26 and coming off a career year with the Tennessee Titans. When the Jets drafted Zach Wilson to be their next franchise quarterback briefly after signing Davis, he was looked at as the veteran of the receiver unit; a bigger possession target on the outside for the rookie.
Between training camp, preseason, and some of the first few regular season games, Davis showed his talent early last season. He and Wilson had clear chemistry right away and completed some big plays.
At the same time, Davis was in a tough situation that impacted his play. Both Elijah Moore and Jamison Crowder missed some time early, with Moore missing much of the summer and all three preseason games. While Moore played Week 1, he and Wilson had not had as much time together yet. Crowder missed the first three regular season games.
All of this made Davis a focal point for defenses in the passing game, especially with the way he and Wilson connected throughout the preseason and Week 1. Pair this with the fact he was on a new team as one of the few veterans on a roster that was the youngest in the NFL, and it hurt his play.
As the season progressed, Davis started to battle some injuries himself, missing eight games over three separate stints. Ultimately, Davis ended up playing in only nine games.
Davis finished his first season in New York with 34 catches on 59 targets (57.6% catch rate), 492 yards (14.5 yards per catch), and four touchdowns. As tough as things ended up going for Davis, his per-game averages still put him on pace for over 900 yards and seven touchdowns over 17 games.
Here’s why Jets fans should be optimistic about Davis going into his second season as a Jet.
Outlook for Corey Davis in 2022
The argument could be made that, aside from Wilson and Mike LaFleur, Davis may be the biggest beneficiary of the new players added to the Jets offense this offseason.
As he enters his second year with the Jets and accumulates more time in the offensive scheme, he should be more comfortable. With three new tight ends, a new starting running back, and another quality wide receiver added to the unit, he will be under far less pressure than he was a year ago.
Also, one of Davis’ best attributes is his run-blocking ability. With a new talent like Breece Hall running alongside Michael Carter, it should open up more opportunities for Davis off play action. This could be parallel to his best year with the Tennessee Titans in 2020, when Derrick Henry was dominant on the ground.
Davis provides more size to the wide receiver group at 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds. He thrives on the intermediate level and should be a consistent presence there for the passing game. Getting Davis in the slot at times may even be beneficial for him, especially in the running game as a blocker, similar to how Mike LaFleur’s brother Matt uses another bigger, physical blocking receiver in the slot (Allen Lazard).
Statistically, expect a productive year from Davis in 2022. Last season, he averaged 6.5 targets per game. Anticipate a consistent 6-8 targets per week for Davis this year. The biggest jump for him this season needs to be his catch rate, which was 57.6% last year. In 2019, it was 62.3% and in 2020, 70.7%. Landing somewhere between those two numbers would be a great step forward.
Ideally, Davis stays healthy for 17 games this year. If so, he should catch about 65 to 70 passes. He was on pace for 64 last season. In terms of yardage, roughly 900 yards is a fair expectation. Based on his career production, Davis should catch five to six touchdowns in 2022.
Davis will play this upcoming season at 27 years old. Even with all of the new and exciting offensive additions made this offseason, Davis should be a consistent, key asset to the Jets’ offense in 2022. If so, it will only help Zach Wilson in his development and the Jets’ final record.