Back in April, the Bills drafted wide receiver Gabriel Davis in the 4th round out of the University of Central Florida (UCF).
With a fairly crowded WR room with names like Stefon Diggs, John Brown and Cole Beasley, the chances of Davis making the team and then actually making an impact on the field weren’t great… but that’s why they play the game.
Three weeks into his NFL career, Davis is thriving in a Bills offense that has taken the league by storm, headlined by quarterback Josh Allen. While his stats might not jump of the page, seven catches for 103 yards and a touchdown, the timing of Davis’ plays is what continues to stick out.
Davis’ lone TD (the first of his NFL career) came last week vs. the Dolphins to give the Bills the lead late in the game. They never looked back:
— Bradley Gelber (@BradleyGelber) September 20, 2020
Similarly against the Rams in Week 3, Davis was the leading receiver heading into halftime and had several big-time plays, including this sideline grab with the awareness to drag both feet and stay in bounds. Not something you see every day from a rookie:
— Bradley Gelber (@BradleyGelber) September 27, 2020
But in a twist, the rookie’s biggest play of the game was not a catch, rather it was drawing a pass interference call on the Rams on fourth-down in the dying seconds of the game. The flag gave the Bills a first-and-goal which they ultimately turned into a touchdown to win the game.
Here’s the questionable pass interference call on Darious Williams at the end of Rams-Bills. pic.twitter.com/vu1k92Xi9Q
— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) September 27, 2020
In the contest, the Bills actually had Brown go down with a calf injury. He had previously been listed with on the team’s injury report last week. Naturally, it’s next man up and that was Davis.
But… it was literally next man up on that play that earn the Bills the pass interference penalty, according to Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
“That’s John Brown’s route,” Josh Allen told the media via video conference after the game. “John goes down and Gabriel steps up and runs it the way it’s supposed to be run.”
Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott, also had short, but strong praise for the rookie WR.
“Incredible, man… He’s done an incredible job being ready.” McDermott said.
With Week 3’s 35-32 shootout win over the high-powered Los Angeles Rams and their offense thanks in part to Davis’ efforts, Buffalo improved to 3-0 having defeated the team that marched onto a Super Bowl appearance two seasons ago.
Depending on Brown’s status for that game Davis might be lining up as a sneaky important player for the Bills once again. Regardless, the rookie has far exceeded most expectations to this point and has been by far one of the top steals of this year’s NFL Draft.