With their second-round pick (53rd overall) in the 2014 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers select Davante Adams, wide receiver from Fresno State.
Davante Adams, WR 6/1″, 212lbs, 32 5/8 arms, 9″ hands
Redshirted in 2011, earning offensive scout team player of the year recognition. Was Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year in ’12 when he amassed 102 receptions for 1,312 yards (12.9-yard average) and 14 touchdowns in 13 starts, setting conference freshman records for catches and yards. Led the nation in receptions and receiving touchdowns and set a single-season school record for receiving yards in ’13 when he started 12-of-13 contests and piled up 131-1,718-24 (13.1). Owns MWC records for single-season and career touchdown catches (38) as well as the school mark for career receptions (233).
4.56 40 yard dash, 14 reps on the bench, 1.64 10yd split, 77.75-inch wing span, 39.5-inch vertical, 123-inch broad jump, 6.82 3-cone, 4.30 20yd shuttle.
STRENGTHS: Broad-shouldered and well-built wideout who consistently wins at the catch-point, demonstrating good leaping ability, timing and hand-eye coordination. Tracks the ball well over either shoulder and has strong hands to pluck the ball when turned towards the quarterback. Quickly corrals the pass and wastes no time in getting upfield, showing vision to set up blocks as well as strength to run through arm tackles and a nice stutter-step to elude.
Deceptive straight-line speed to challenge deep and shows good balance and overall body control to gain separation on comeback and out routes. Good strength and courage to take passes over the middle and isn’t afraid of running through traffic. Alert blocker.
WEAKNESSES: Lacks the elite speed that his gaudy production indicates. Possesses normal acceleration and tops out quickly. Occasionally will allow the ball to swing away from his frame as he attempts to fight for extra yardage, which can result in forced fumbles.
Cognizant blocker downfield but isn’t nearly as physical in this area as he is when fighting through would-be tacklers. Production was certainly inflated by Fresno State’s spread offense and because he is the favorite target of highly regarded quarterback, Derek Carr.
Compares To: James Jones, Packers – Like the former San Jose State standout, Adams’ eye-popping numbers have come against questionable competition. However, his similar build, deceptive vertical speed and strong hands at the catch-point should help Adams emerge as a big-play candidate in the NFL.
When the 2014 draft process first began, I right away felt the Packers would be looking at a wide receiver early in this draft, mostly because I thought James Jones would leave and the crop of receivers are so good. As the draft approached, I felt even stronger about this and had settled on 3 potential targets for the Packers, Jordan Matthews, Cody Latimer and Donte Moncrief.
While Adams wasn’t in my top 3, he wasn’t far behind. Watching video of Adams, it was apparent he’s pretty close to a James Jones clone. The way he runs routes, the type of routes he prefers, ability to catch at the high point, soft hands, the way he runs after the catch, use of the stiff arm. then I went digging for the scouting report on Adams and who does he compare him to? James Jones.
Adams will be that big bodied #3 posession receiver that can run the fades and back shoulder routes along with the slants and bubble routes. Fresno State used him quite a bit on the WR bubble routes and screens with good success.
A solid B – B+ pick
Comments from Packers receivers coach Edgar Bennett (courtesy of Mike Vandermeuse):
*Goes up and makes tough catches. Gets yards after catch.
*He’s a complete football player. That’s what stood out. He competes. Has good size and strength, can create separation.
*He made most of his opportunities, that’s what it comes down to.
*He’s a high character indiviedual, tremendous work ethic, mindset is right. Mentally he’s ready as far as taking next jump. When he gets here he’s got to continue to work.
*On tape you see a guy who can get open. See a guy with strong hands.
*Some similarities to James Jones, but they’re different players. Jones was one of most physical tough receivers I’ve been around.
*Some of ways he was able to create separation on deep route (was impressive).
*His big wing span helps.
*He has outstanding vertical, 38, somewhere in that area.
*He’s a very focused young man. Having that understanding, know you have to earn it, he did that, proved that in college. He has the right attitude.
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.