Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis received a nice paycheck in the off-season, to the tune of three years worth around $44.5 million. Not too shabby for the 2018 second-round draft pick out of Auburn. Following last week’s minicamp, Davis III spoke to Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter, Brianna Dix, that to live up to his contract and continue to perform at his All-Pro, is finish plays.
“It’s about finishing. I’m an All-Pro corner 80 percent of the play, but that last 20 percent – when the ball is coming – I have to make that play. That is going to be the big turning point for me in my career…I’m always around the ball, and my coverage is second to none, but when I really dial in on my ball skills and am a ball hawk, that is when I feel I will get the notoriety, and I will be able to make more noise than what I’m doing now.”
Back on May 3rd of this year, Buccaneers’ cornerback coach was asked how far CD3 was from being an All-pro cornerback. According to Kevin Ross, in his 3rd year coaching the cornerbacks in Tampa, He’s not far from it.
“He’s not far at all. If Carlton would have caught half the balls he dropped last year, he would’ve been an All-Pro. That’s why he got rewarded by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first place because he’s very capable of doing that. He just needs to focus on the ball and finish, and he will be fine.”
Heading into last season, Carlton Davis was locking it down with the most pass breakups of any cornerback in the league since 2019 with 48. According to Stat Muse, that’s one more than the Giants’ James Bradberry. As for interceptions? Considering the number of times CD3 made a play on the ball, it’s a stark indicator that he has to improve on the 6 he recorded. While the potential for plays is there, the reality is that Davis is below the 25th ranked secondary player since 2019, Tashaun Gipson with 7.
Davis will aim to remain healthy throughout 2022 to make good on his goals; injuries last year certainly took their toll on the entire unit. Being on the field will put Davis’s ball-hawking skills in a position to make the plays; can he turn a loss of down into the loss of the football, next year?