Cory’s Corner: Davante Adams has top Packers grade on Day 2
The Packers have one of the best receiving tandems in the league in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.
However, after that is a big question mark.
Which is why the Packers went with Fresno State wideout Davante Adams with the 53rdÂ overall pick. But Adams isnâ€™t just going to push Jarrett Boykin for the No. 3 job. I wouldnâ€™t be surprised to see the 6-foot-1 wideout, who led the NCAA with 24 TDs last year, win the third receiver job â€” which is pretty important in the Packers offense.
Even though Randall Cobb went down with a broken leg and only played in six regular season games last year, James Jones still racked up 93 targets.
Adams comes from a pass-happy Fresno State offense that was led by the strong arm and quick release of Derek Carr â€” two qualities that Aaron Rodgers has. And he also proved that he can stretch the field with 18 plays of 25 yards or more and 37 plays of 15 yards or more.
The reason I like Adams is because he was also a star basketball player growing up. He understands not only how to get open but how to stay open. That box-out mentality is something that Rodgers is really going to love when those two get on the same page.
Davante Adams: B+
Seeing as how the Packers signed B.J. Raji to a one-year $4 million prove-it contract, after turning down a long-term deal for $8 million per year, the defensive front is a question mark.
If Raji has a big year, how motivated will he be to come back to Green Bay? Will he come back to the Packers on a hometown discount?
Just to protect themselves, the Packers made a nice insurance move and picked the very versatile Southern Missippi defensive tackle Khyri Thornton with the 85thÂ overall pick. I say very versatile because he can play anywhere on the defensive line, which is great for a guy that â€œFlies all over the field,â€ according to NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock.
Whatâ€™s disconcerting is that Thornton was tied for 11thÂ on a Southern Miss defense that played no ranked opponents by totaling 39 total tackles and he was last with only a Â½ sack last season. The reason for those poor numbers is because he has a short wingspan and small hands to boot.
In order for Thornton to not only succeed but earn playing time with the Packers, he will need to develop more moves to shed blocks and make himself more of a factor as a pass rusher.
Khyri Thornton: C+
Even if Jermichael Finley’s doctor clears him from the horrifying spinal cord contusion, the Packers medical staff must do the same and history tells us that is not likely to happen.
Which means, the Packers are looking for the next dynamic tight end that can not only eat up the middle of the field but also run through linebackers and get past secondaries.
The 6-foot-4, 257-pound California standout can be that guy. Richard Rodgers was taken 98th overall and is a former wide receiver, which will come in handy when Aaron Rodgers starts throwing missiles.
The problem lies in his explosion. He will not beat many defenders off the line of scrimmage, which puts even more pressure on his route running, ball placement by the quarterback and catching ability.
But he has the soft hands of a second baseman. He can dig out just about any ball and quickly turn upfield.
However, thatâ€™s not even highlighting his biggest quality, which is his inner fire. As a sophomore at Cal, he ballooned to 275 because of a torn labrum and a torn foot ligament. But, as a junior, he trimmed 30 pounds as a way to impress new coach Sonny Dykes.
It paid off because he was third on the team in receptions and even had 13 plays of 15 yards or more.
Because he was a former wideout, the sky is the limit for Rodgers. He has shown how bad he wants to play this game, now he has to showcase what he can do as a true pass-catching tight end for a team that is in search of its next franchise tight end.
Richard Rodgers: Bâ€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn