Gabriel Davis (69 Overall)
The last rookie to make this list is wide receiver Gabriel Davis from the University of Central Florida, whom the Bills selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Although Davis was a fourth round selection shouldn’t mean that Madden automatically gives him a rating under 70 overall.
However, those that have scouted Davis and know his game understand the value the Buffalo Bills got in the fourth round. After all, this was one of the best wide receiver draft classes in a very long time and Madden should have represented that by inflating rookie Wide Receiver ratings by just one or two overall points across the board. Unfortunately, Davis did not receive any such treatment by the Madden Rating Adjustors.
At 6’2 and over 200 pounds, Davis gives the Buffalo Bills a young pass catcher with prototypical size for the position. During his time at Central Florida, Davis didn’t start to stand out until his Sophomore year but really illustrated NFL capabilities in his Junior season. In 2019 Davis logged 72 receptions for 1,241 yards and 12 touchdowns. Davis showed the consistent ability to get behind opposing defenses and make difficult contested catches down the field.
Davis’s Madden skill category ratings leave a little more to be desired, but there are some areas that they got right. For instance, giving Davis a modest 89 speed and 88 acceleration ratings are fairly accurate. Additionally, Madden highlighted his ability to make contested catches by giving him an 82 in both overall catch rating and spectacular catch rating as well as a decent 79 catch in traffic rating.
The categories that Madden will likely be upgrading Davis’ skill ratings throughout the season are in his route running abilities. Most bigger-bodied receivers are perceived to be poor route runners, but this is not the case for Davis. He received an initial rating of 76 for his release which portrays his ability to create separation from defenders off the line of scrimmage.
Furthermore, Davis received sub-par route running ratings of 73 for short routes, 71 for medium routes, and 74 for deep routes. While these ratings are modest for a rookie fourth round pick, Davis has already shown the ability to create separation against the Bills first-team defense during training camp.