Davante Adams 2014 Report Card – Packers Player Grades

Green Bay Packers Report Cards, Player Grades

1) Introduction: Davante Adams was drafted with the 53rd pick in the 2014 NFL draft from Fresno State where he was Derek Carr’s top receiver. In college Davante set Fresno State records for receptions and touchdowns. In 2013 he grabbed eight more touchdowns than any other player in college football. His potential is sky high but for this season expectations were low.


Packers WR Davante Adams


2) Profile:

Davante Adams

  • Age: 22
  • Born: December 24, 1992
  • Height: 6′ 1″
  • Weight: 215 lbs.
  • College: Fresno State
  • Rookie Year: 2014
  • NFL Experience: Rookie

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: Rookie receivers for the Packers typically do not see much playing time and because of this, not much was expected out of Adams. If Adams could see a little bit of playing time and get his feet wet while simply flashing some potential, many would be happy with the year he had. He was expected to hold down the number four receiver position behind Cobb, Nelson, and Boykin.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: The highlight of Adams’ season had to be the playoff game against Dallas. He went off for 117 yards on 7 receptions and one touchdown. The touchdown he scored against Dallas was a 46 yard beauty that showed off his ability to make plays in the open field after the catch by freezing his defender and then running right by him. It was a clutch time to have his longest play of the season. In that same game Adams  also made a key third down play on the final drive on a very impressive grab that required him to out-physical the defender for the ball in the air.

Davante’s rookie season was full of ups and downs with lots to look at in terms of low-lights. Most notably, like there are with most rookie receivers, were consistency issues. Adams was forced into a bigger role than perhaps he was ready for and that role got bigger each week as the season went on as he saw more snaps and Boykin saw fewer and fewer. He was great against Dallas in the NFC divisional round game, but the previous game, a week 17 showdown against Detroit and the next game, the NFC Championship game against Seattle, saw Adams combine for one catch for seven yards. Part of the consistency wasn’t just his production, but his dropped passes. Adams dropped almost 10 percent of the catchable passes thrown his away this year. Most notably a big dropped touchdown pass against the Patriots that almost ended up costing the Packers the game.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: In two of the biggest games of the year, (Dallas and New England) Adams showed up to have his two best games. It was nice to see him show up in key games, however in the other two big games this season (Detroit and Seattle) he completely disappeared. He finished the season with 446 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season. All-in-all it was a nice rookie season for Adams that saw him make some big plays in big games, but at the end of the day his impact wasn’t huge as a number three receiver.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: As mentioned earlier, the game Adams had against Dallas was fantastic, he showed his potential and the reason why the Packers took him in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft. The touchdown he had in that game was one of the top plays of the year for the Packers and his third down catch on the final drive was equally as impressive. However his total disappearance against Seattle was disheartening with only one catch for seven yards and allowing Richard Sherman to out play him on a jump ball in the end zone on the Packers first drive that would result in an interception for Sherman.

7) Intangibles: Davante has the hands, speed, and after the catch ability to be as good as he wants to be. He is also a little bit different than Cobb and Nelson in that he appears to have a little more swaggar, that may just come from being a young guy and in the first year of the system, but I think it’s a good thing to have a change of pace in the group. He also differs from Cobb and Nelson in that he appears to be a little more physical than them. He is definitely a good add to the group. His confidence is through the roof and will be as good as he wants to be.

Season Report Card (Player Grades):

(B) Level of expectations met during the season

(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(C+) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: C+  

As a rookie receiver, I probably give Davante Adams a B overall but at the end of the day there are no excuses for being a rookie, the Packers needed the production, so I bumped it down to a C+. Pro Football Focus has Adams’ season rated as the 8th worst rookie receiving season in the last 8 years (which covers 288 receivers), I have to respectively disagree.


Mike Reuter lives in the Twin Cities and is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas. He is a mobile tech enthusiast, a 19 year Gopher Football season ticket holder and a huge Packers fan. Mike is a writer with AllGreenBayPackers.com and you can follow him on twitter at @uofmike.


21 thoughts on “Davante Adams 2014 Report Card – Packers Player Grades

  1. Davante reminds me of Finley, flashes of greatness and then a complete bonehead drop or lack of motivation. Question is, will he show more greatness than boneheadedness?

    1. Huh? This makes no sense. So anyone reciever who has a drop or “bonehead” play is like Finley?!?

      Davante made plays as a rookie we haven’t seen since Greg Jennings. Time will tell if he will progress but he’s nothing like Finley.

      Finley’s first caused interception ever he commented on how Aaron should’ve thrown it higher. Finley was a “Me First” tight end with average game time hands. We all loved Finley but his attitude makes him nothing like Davante has ever shown.

      1. I took what Big T said to mean that on the field, Adams as a rookie was reminiscent of Finley’s time as a Packer, not just Finley’s rookie year. Adams and Finley alike could make a big play at any given time or could drop a big pass or do something else costly as well, making a pass to them far from a sure thing. There is also questions of consistency with both of them.

        I don’t think he is saying that Finley and Adams are the same player on and off the field. I would expect some of Adams on field issues to (hopefully) disappear as he gets more experience.

  2. 38 receptions on 66 targets (57.5% – a poor number) for 446 yards and 11.7 yard average is a good rookie year. A 10% drop rate is bad. Limiting it to round 1-3 picks, Adams had a better rookie year than Javon Walker, Robert Ferguson, Derrick Mayes, Antonio Freeman, Robert Brooks, Frankie Neal (but just barely!) Nelson and Cobb (although in Cobb’s case – 25 Recs. on 31 targets for a 81% completion rate and 375 yds – there are some arguments to be made for him, like playing behind Nelson – 1263 yds, Jennings 949 yds, Finley – 767 yds, James Jones 635 yds, Driver 445 yds). Jennings (Rd. 2 – 2006 52nd pick – 632 yards) and James Jones (Rd. 3 – 676 yards) had considerably better rookie seasons, but there were no other decent WRs when they were drafted and they did have Brett Favre throwing to them. Otherwise, you’d have to go back to Sterling Sharpe (Rd. 1 – 1988), Walter Stanley (Rd. 3 1985), James Lofton (Rd 1 -1978 HOF), and Boyd Dowler (Rd. 3 – 1959 but Since ’61 will have to tell me if that counts since his position is listed as Flanker !) to find WRs who had better rookie years. So, I am curious: why does PFF hate Adams? The drops? Was it route running? Inability to beat the jam (just 14 reps at the combine)?

    Anyway, agree with the conclusion. My expectations were for Adams to be the #4 WR and catch 20 to 25 passes for 200 to 275 yards. Grade B+. Since he definitely didn’t see too many #1 CBs, I am a bit disappointed with some of his games, but that is common for a rookie. I’d give a C- for contributions on the field and a C+ for the postseason. Overall C+.

    I never criticize any WR TT decides to draft in the first 3 rounds because you’ll likely look stupid.

    1. If I had to guess PFF gave him that terrible grade for these reasons:

      -Adams had a lot more playing time than a lot of rookie wide receivers get and even with a lot of playing time, in the Packers offense you aren’t going to see a ton of targets until Rodgers gets a little more comfortable with you.

      -The inherent flaw in PFF’s grading system by treating each play with the same importance, limiting how high of a grade a player can get to +2.0 (which is wayyyyyy too small of a scale to me) and grading it subjectively, even if they try their best to not be biased. For those reasons I don’t personally care for PFF’s grades, I think they can be interesting to look at, but what they end up being don’t mean anything to me. I know some people love them though.

      -The high drop rate (as you mentioned).

      It still seems a little ridiculous to rank him 280th out of 288 players over the last 8 years.

      1. Interesting. My opinion of PFF just went down, not that I considered it the gold standard before. For perspective, Nelson played 959 off. snaps (91%), Cobb 922 (88%) & Adams 738 (70.3%) for 446 yds on 38 receptions. 66 targets is not a ton, but is decent amount. 53% completion % is low but 6 drops would have brought it to 67%.

        Snaps for rookie receivers with good production: Martavis Bryant (118th pick, 295 snaps/549 yds with 26 Recs on 49 target and a 21 yd/catch average), Dante Moncrief (90th Pick, 411 snaps – inconsistent: his 444 yards came largely in 4 games but 32 recs on 49 targets for 65%), Taylor Gabriel (UDFA, 610 snaps/620 yds), John Brown (91st pick, 633 snaps/696 yds), Allen Robinson (61st pick – 48 recs on 81 targets for 548 yds, 516 snaps), Allen Hurns (UDFA, 46rec/636yds, 788 snaps) Jarvis Landry (63rd pick, 84 recs on 111 targets about 76% but only a 9 yd. average per catch, 672 yds on 683 snaps).

        The above is not to argue. I’m a bean counter. I like stats!

      2. Football Outsiders does a formula based on comparison to other receivers in similar game situations. Their DVOA stat ranks Adams 59th.

        It’s equally subjective of course, but I tend to find it an interesting ‘corrective’ to PFF. I think you get a better picture if you look at both instead of just one.

    2. Reynoldo – Dowler began his career as a Flanker which would be similar to Adam’s role and to Cobb’s role as a slot receiver in today’s game. In Dowler’s time, Max McGee was the starting split end and a favorite target of Starr’s because he had great hands and a great ability to get open. Dowler was tall and fast (for his day) and also had good hands. Dowler eventually moved to the split end role as McGee got older and player less. Carroll Dale moved into the Flanker role for Lombardi’s offense. It’s difficult to compare results from the 60s with today’s game because there is much more passing today and the Packers run more plays in their up tempo offense. Dowler had a great career and did not drop too many passes. He came up big in big games. His clutch catch during the final drive in the Ice Bowl (-16 below, before wind chill, no gloves, 3+ hours) and holding on while taking a vicious hit is an overlooked but one of the most important plays of that drive. Starr also loved to throw to his RBs, especially Paul Hornung, who was as good a receiver as he was an RB. This reduced the # of targets to Starr’s WRs in those days as well. If Dowler player today he would be most like Jordy, a little taller but not as fast, but still very fast. Dowler was an outstanding downfield blocker as well, which was not an expectation but a demand if you were going to play for Lombardi. If Adams ends up having a career like Dowler’s we as Packers fans will have no reason to complain. Thanks, Since ’61

      1. I was just joshing you mostly. I went through the records looking for WRs and almost missed Dowler because the notation was FL. There are some guys that comment on these sites so young that the FL would throw them for a loop. Sadly, I pretty much recognized its significance right away. Sigh.

  3. Adams got better as the season progressed and will be a vital part of the best 3 receiver group in football. Now on to the Cobb signing. In my opinion , he should be offered the identical contract that Nelson received.

    1. I don’t see the progression. 5 good games out of 19: week 2, 6, 8, 13, and 18. Not that this is that unusual for a rookie, but all I see is inconsistency. He will probably make a jump though as you suggest.

  4. It won’t mean much because the Packers obviously have big plans for him next year with their reluctance to re-sign cobb. If Cobb leaves there are going to be some major problems in the Packers offense. Sure it opens doors for Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis. But they haven’t worked with the first team offense and they could run into the same “Inconsistency” problems adams had his rookie year and that could spell trouble with only 3 experienced wide receivers and 2 usable ones.

  5. Unless Thompson has something planned for this upcoming draft which I find hard to believe considering most of the top wideouts will be gone by the time the Packers are ready to draft a receiver.

    1. I see no evidence that GB is reluctant to re-sign Cobb. And this is another deep year for WRs, albeit not as deep as last year. I expect there will be quality WRs well into the 3rd round.

      1. Well there haven’t been many talks of it and yes Sam Shields was re signed right before free agency started last year but this might not be a good sign. And yes it’d going to be a deep year, but again it’s going to be problematic with a rookie trying to get adjusted to the Packers offense. It takes time and we need to have immediate experience on the team

        1. Shields signed March 9 and GB announced it March 10, 2014. The important dates were that other teams could negotiate with FAs starting on March 8, but could not sign them until March 11. So Shields and his agent were able to field offers from other teams.

          Those dates this year for Cobb et al are March 7 to 9, 2015, and FA can sign with new teams on March 10, 2015. Cobb might want to see if some team will offer $10 to $12 million. Don’t know about Cobb, but his agent will want to wait.

          Demovsky has a story out today reporting that Cobb is seeking $9 million per year but length of contract might be in question.

  6. For a rookie, still learning the Packers offense I thought that Adams had a good season and that he was a nice surprise for the Packers offense. Yes he was inconsistent but that is to be expected. Drops hurt as they always do but no one catches everything (see Jordy in Buffalo game). Rodgers threw a ton of passes to Cobb and Nelson in 2014 and for good reason. I believe that Adams will continue to grow into a solid #3 for Rodgers and the Packers. Thanks, Since ’61

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