Opening day countdowns are great. So are player profiles. Here at Musket Fire, we decided to combine them and create a Week 1 countdown-oriented, jersey number-dictated player profile series. Yesterday, we looked at No. 84 Brian Tyms, and a few days before him it was No. 85 Jake Bequette. Because today marks 83 days until the New England Patriots open 2015, we are profiling No. 83, veteran tight end Fred Davis.
A violation of the league’s substance abuse policy kept Davis out of football all of last year. You can say what you want about the “baggage” of the former Redskin (it wasn’t his first time getting docked for that offense), but it doesn’t really matter. Davis is a member of the New England Patriots, and the year is 2015. The past is more or less irrelevant.
It’s worth noting that the Redskins placed the franchise tag on Davis three offseasons ago. In 2011, Davis exploded for 796 yards and three touchdowns on 59 receptions, and he was widely considered a top-ten tight end, certainly worthy of a franchise tag.
Calling his couched 2014 season “boring”, Davis is antsy to get back on the field. And in New England, he’s in as good of a place as any to make a comeback.
Now that Tim Wright is out of the picture, this is what the Patriots’ depth chart at tight end looks like.
Looking at that list of players, one thing is clear: there is room for Davis on the roster. If the Patriots take four tight ends, it will be a result of Davis regaining form this summer, as he has the potential to nudge out the rookie A.J. Derby (who has only one year of formal tight end experience) and converted defensive end Jake Bequette.
Even if the Patriots take only three tight ends, the chance is there for Davis to prove that his pass-catching ability exceeds the value of Michael Hoomanawanui’s blocking and very rare receiving contributions.
So far, Davis has earned favorable reviews in OTAs and minicamp.
Don’t bet your mortgage on Davis carving out a starring role with the Patriots this season, but by no means should you rule it out either. Davis is exactly the type of Corey Dillon, Randy Moss veteran that could put on a Patriots jersey on and rejuvenate his career.
In case you missed them, here are the profiles for No. 86 A.J. Derby, No. 87 Rob Gronkowski, No. 88 Scott Chandler, No. 90 Zach Moore, No. 91 Jamie Collins, No. 92 Malcom Brown, No. 93 Jabaal Sheard, No. 94 Chris jones and No. 95 Chandler Jones.
Check back on Musket Fire tomorrow morning as we celebrate 82 days until Patriots kick-off by profiling No. 82, wide receiver Josh Boyce.