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Is Auburn cornerback Javaris Davis being overlooked?

With as much attention as Carlton Davis deservedly drew in Auburn's secondary last season, Javaris Davis, one of his counterparts in the defensive backfield, arguably had a better season and may be slightly overlooked heading into 2018.

Javaris Davis had 29 tackles with six pass breakups, two interceptions and forced a fumble while appearing in 11 games with five starts last season. By comparison, Carlton Davis had 36 tackles with 11 pass breakups, one interception, a forced fumble and fumble recovery while starting 13 games.

But higher production, even if in more games, is not always a great measure of a corner's abilities in coverage.

"(Javaris Davis) can run real, real fast," Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said. "He's a good technician. He's a tough guy. He's really smart and having multiple uses. He can play Nickel or Star and play corner.

"So I don't know that - I don't really understand the 'overlook' concept because it takes two corners and if I'm playing (offense) and Carlton is playing the other, there's a major issue. If you have one good player on one side and a really good player on the other, one may get more attention but, hey, who knows, that might be because they don't want to throw at him."

According to analysis by Pro Football Focus, Carlton Davis, who was drafted in the second round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had a passer rating when targeted of 74.7. Javaris Davis' passer rating when targeted was 44.2, fourth among returning SEC corners.

Steele said Javaris Davis' mindset didn't change in the spring once he moved to Nickel and is clearly going to be called upon as one of Auburn's top defenders.

"I don't feel overlooked at all," Javaris Davis said. "Carlton's very great, he's a great player. ... I salute him and that's like one of my brothers. We came in together. All the success that he's had, I applaud him and this season hopefully I can get some success as well."

Other PFF analytics show how much of a lockdown corner Javaris Davis was last season. He limited opponents to 17 yards after the catch and .5 yards per coverage snap, both best among returning SEC corners, and his 13 coverage snaps per reception allowed ranks 11th at the position in the conference.

Those numbers put Javaris Davis in elite company among SEC corners, along with the likes of LSU's Andraez "Greedy" Williams (22.9 passer rating when targeted) and Georgia's Deandre Baker (34.2 passer rating when targeted), both of whom were named to's preseason All-SEC first team by the league's sports information directors.

Yet the Auburn redshirt-junior was not selected by that group among the league's top four corners, as Florida's CJ Henderson and Mississippi State's Jamal Peters were named to the second-team. Those players are both great in their own right, but in terms of production, Javaris Davis had more tackles than both Peters (23) and Henderson (22), matched their combined PBUs and had a lower passer rating when targeted.

It could all end up serving as offseason motivation for one of the fastest players in the SEC.

"I never even thought about him being overlooked," Auburn safeties coach Greg Brown said. "I think that's anybody that's around him knows he's an outstanding talent. He has got a very bright future ahead of him. I think that if Javaris was to feel like he was being overlooked ... he would be the kind of guys that would say, 'OK, I'll prove you wrong and I'll go out and play with a chip.' I think the world is all in front of Javaris for him."

James Crepea is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCrepea.

from Auburn Sports Impact

This post first appeared on Auburn Family News, please read the originial post: here

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Is Auburn cornerback Javaris Davis being overlooked?


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