Leading up to the draft, I’m breaking down (roughly) one prospect a day until I make it to 60 or the draft comes.
With Jerricho Cotchery coming in for the year, I’m electing to deal with a complimentary receiver that fits that same mold. While I’ve dealt with Jordan Matthews and find him a similar (if not also more athletic and cerebral) player, I believe this prospect to be a more similar guy who can pull a lot of production, even if he’s not exceptional in size or speed.
Davante Adams, from Fresno State, is a Redshirt Sophomore who deals more in size (6’1, 210) than speed (4.56) and, like Cotchery, is a guy who’ll make his living on doing the small things well. Adams led the nation in receptions with 131, so you could see his reasoning that there’s not a ton to prove in college. He plays in a spread offense that some suggest is far more wide open than the pros, but we’re past the point where that’s relevant anymore. Inferior competition could be considered, though; he’s not beating SEC corners regularly, he’s beating MWC guys.
He’s solidly built, and add that to a nearly 40” vertical and you have a good jump ball guy. He attacks the ball, can go over the shoulder well, and he’s got a full route tree to success. He’ll fight tackles and is a tough player, along with a good blocker. He’s got decent quickness in and out of breaks, and he gets under the ball and upfield very quickly.
The high end isn’t as high, because while he does well downfield, he’s not going to both carry you with 10 receptions a game and beat you on the go route. There aren’t a ton of guys who can, of course. But if he’s going to beat you, it’s going to be a double move and a hope the safety is also napping. He’s not massively deficient – it’s not that he can’t get it done – but he’s not going to get deep without a fight.
He looks like a very productive receiver who knows the game well for his experience, so a lot of the negative connotations of the redshirt sophomore type situation are gone. If his upside physically were there just a little more, he’d be a top ten pick. The loaded draft and his slower time put him to where he’d be in range for Carolina, luckily enough. We don’t throw that far downfield anyway, right? Adams carries a late first round grade.