We all know that Fred Davis missed the final four games of the season because he tested positive for marijuana. That’s how his 2011 season will be remembered, and perhaps rightfully so. What’s forgotten, however, was that Davis was killing it in his first full season as a starter.
Prior to this season, the NFL record for receiving yards in a single single for a TE was 1290, by Kellen Winslow Sr. Both Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski broke that record this season, and are clearly the two best TE receiving threats in the NFL:
But after that, Davis is right in that mix among the best receiving TE’s in my opinion. Before he got suspended, he was on pace to top 1000 yards. Here are his 2011 numbers, and how they project over a 16 game season:
|Fred Davis projected over 16 games||79||1061||4|
Along with Graham and Gronkowski, if Davis had just laid off the weed and kept up his pace over the first 12 games, he would have been just one of three TE’s to top 1000 yards. That’s especially impressive considering the Skins’ QB situation. Here were the other top TE’s in the game in 2011, noting that the majority of these guys played with some pretty good QB’s:
It was really a no-brainer to franchise Davis, and the Skins might be smart to lock him up long-term while the perception of him is lower than it should be.