Green Bay Packers: Davante Adams could be the real deal
By Jamie Wright
The Green Bay Packers picked up a dynamite addition to their defensive backfield when they selected Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft.
Fans were temporarily satiated by the Clinton-Dix move, but turned their attentions full swing to the need at inside linebacker. With top linebacker C.J. Mosley and other worthy candidates selected earlier in the first round, many believed the Packers would go the route of inside linebacker in the second. Instead …
“With the 53rd pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers select …”
Davante Adams reacts after catching a touchdown pass against the San Jose State Spartans in the first quarter at Spartan Stadium. Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports photograph
Davante Adams, Wide Receiver – Fresno State
Meet and Greet
Davante Adams was born Dec. 24, 1992, in Palo Alto, Calif. He attended Palo Alto High School in California where he was regarded as a two-sport recruit, excelling at basketball and football.
As a high school senior, Adams registered 64 receptions for nearly 1,100 yards and totaled 12 touchdowns. His proficiency in both football and basketball allowed him to excel as a wide receiver. He is 6-2, 212 pounds; a big, able-bodied guy with the ability to go up and make a catch and provide good opportunities to win jump balls with his 39.5-inch vertical.
Adams signed on at Fresno State when he graduated high school and was redshirted as a true freshman in 2011.
Show Me the Stats
As a redshirt freshman in 2011, Adams earned the offensive scout team player of the year awards. In 2012, he erased records with his 102 receptions for 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns in just 13 college starts that year.
In 2013, Adams blew even his own previous conference and school records away. He started in 12 of 13 games that year and amassed ridiculous totals of 131 receptions, 1,718 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns. He is the current holder of the Mountain West Conference for single season touchdown catches (24) and for career touchdown catches (38), in just two seasons. He also holds the Fresno State record for career receptions (233), also in just two seasons with the team.
Adams had no major injuries or off-field issues to speak of and seems to be a solid, positive energy in the locker room and on the field.
Because he was redshirted as a true freshman in 2011, Adams had the choice to attend Fresno State and further his collegiate stats for two more years. At the end of 2013, however, he decided to forgo those opportunities and pursue his dreams of playing in the NFL, declaring for the draft.
Wide receiver Davante Adams runs with the ball after making a catch against the New Mexico Lobos in the second quarter at Bulldog Stadium. Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports photograph
What Can You Do for Me Now?
Davante Adams joins a very stable and productive group of wide receivers under Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. With Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb seeing the touches that they do and garnishing the favor with Rodgers that they do … it is unlikely that Adams makes a tremendous impact right away, even with the loss of James Jones to Oakland over the offseason. With the 2013 emergence of Jarrett Boykin, Adams may have to settle for sharing snaps as the third receiver at any given time.
However, his range and build are very promising. He is a huge target, standing 6-2 and boasting tremendous athletic ability to locate and pull down the ball. He has the skills to make the big catches, win jump balls, contort his body on the sideline or for the one-handed grab. He’s got sure hands and has terrific ball skills, pulling down the catch quickly and stowing it safely away for YAC opportunities.
If he generates any type of rapport with Aaron Rodgers over the course of camps and pre-season, look to see this young man as an emerging star in the offensive arsenal, even if it isn’t necessarily immediately.
What Can You Do for Me Later?
Ted Thompson reached into the draft and found three wide receivers, Adams coming as a solid, productive second-rounder. These picks (especially Davante Adams) are most likely a tell of things to come. With Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb entering contract years, Thompson is stocking up on young talent, ready to take the reins if necessary in the near future.
Don’t get me wrong, no one wants to see Nelson or Cobb skip away to some rival or even an outlier like the Oakland Raiders. However, Thompson knows the cutthroat business of free agency and the power that money holds in negotiations. If there are any holdouts or hold-ups, he needs to be ready to move on, even though we are all very optimistic that Cobb and Nelson will be around for a long, long time, serving as mentors to the young studs of the future like Davante Adams.
Adams was a pre-emptive pick and a good one. He can sit behind some of the league’s most talented wide receivers, learn under the league’s best quarterback and enter the scene when he is ready to make an immediate impact. Given a season or two to learn the playbook, fans of the Green Bay Packers will be sending thank-you letters to Thompson, et al.
Overall Draft Grade
Davante Adams spells future trouble for all of the NFC North foes and NFL secondary units that will face the Green Bay Packers in 2014 and beyond. He is a young guy with a whole lot of talent, unearthed and waiting to be unleashed.
He is still learning his body and gaining access to the tools needed to be a standout wide receiver in this league, but he is a diamond in the rough.
His tremendous upside and bright future will only help the Green Bay Packers
Draft Grade: A