Derius Davis, TCU
Derius Davis might be the most exciting player not just on this list but in the entire draft class if we are only considering what he would bring as a returner. There is a ceiling on what he can bring as an offensive player but as a returner he could instantly make an impact at the NFL level.
Davis was one of the biggest winners of the NFL Combine with an incredible 4.36 40-yard dash and 1.46 10-yard split. He showcased the fact that he is one of the most athletic receivers in this draft, which will play right into his ceiling as a kick returner.
Davis returned a total of 52 kickoffs over the last two years for TCU and while his kickoff averages don't jump off the page, his punt return numbers do. Davis averaged 14.9 yards per return for TCU in 2022 and added two touchdowns for good measure.
The 82-yard punt return featured above actually broke KaVontae Turpin's record for the most punt returns in school history. For those unaware, Turpin was an extremely productive returner for the Dallas Cowboys in 2022, earning a Pro Bowl nod in the process.
Davis is limited offensively and early on will likely only be used in gadget plays (like Joe Reed). However, his athleticism and incredible acceleration make him an easy target to get the ball early to move down the field.
Best of all, Davis is projected to be available pretty late in the 2023 NFL Draft. He ranks 249th and could be a potential seventh-round pick for the Bolts.