This is the NFL where some players are destined for greatness straight out of college while others must wait their turn for the light to shine. For the Green Bay Packers, Davante Adams has been worth the wait.
Hailing from East Palo Alto, California, Adams was viewed as a two-sport star in football. His college interests included Hawaii, California, San Diego State, and the college he chose, Fresno State. During his two years there, Adams would total 233 receptions for 3031 yards and 38 touchdowns. He also would lead the nation in receptions during the 2013 season with 131.
But still, not attending a top school hurt his draft stock. If any player in a top BCS school would have put up those numbers, we’re talking top 5 pick easily. However, Adams fell to the second round where the Packers quickly snatched up the reliable receiver. In that same draft, other receivers chosen ahead of him were Odell Beckham, Marquise Lee, Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, and Kelvin Benjamin. While some of those names have exploded in the NFL, take a look at their schools.
His first season as a pro, Adams fit in nicely with Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, and Jordy Nelson. Adams snagged 38 passes for 446 yards and 3 touchdowns on 66 targets for an average of 11.7 yards per catch. Not bad for a second-round rookie. But the Packers knew he could do more.
In the 2015-16 season, Adams missed three games but still managed to up his catches from 38 to 50 and accounted for 483 yards but only one touchdown. His YPC also took a dip to under 10. Even with the minor setback, there was something brewing just waiting to bust out. Luckily for him, he was not alone in his quest for stardom.
The next season, it all started to click. The Packers, electing to go more with a three-receiver set allowed Adams to be at the right place at the right time.
For the 2016-17 campaign, Adams had the breakout year he was waiting for. In 15 starts, Adams managed to haul in 75 receptions for 997 yards and reached the end zone 12 times. With two years under his belt and at the tender age of 24, Adams’ time was now and he took full advantage of the opportunity. While he still wasn’t mentioned in the same sentences as DeAndre Hopkins, Antonio Brown or Julio Jones, Adams was the weapon the Green Bay Packers didn’t expect.
The following season is when lightning struck for the second-round pick.
For the 2017-18 campaign, Adams mirrored his previous season with 74 receptions for 885 yards and 10 touchdowns. However, what he did accomplish in his fourth season proved how far he had come as a player. Despite putting up lesser numbers as the previous season, Adams earned his first Pro Bowl nod.
The 2018-19 campaign brought more of the same for Adams. In 15 games, the first time Pro Bowler took the league by the throat and didn’t let up until the year was over. Adams registered 111 receptions for 1386 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was now the main target for Aaron Rodgers.
Even still, when the top receivers in the NFL are mentioned, Davante Adams’ name is not even whispered. Hopkins, Jones, Michael Thomas, and even Adam Thielen are thrown above him and that’s just fine with Adams and Packers’ fans. Let him keep flying under the radar and by the time the stat sheet is revealed, Adams has burned your favorite DB for 10 catches and 120 yards on a Sunday afternoon.
Adams has a chance to have his name mentioned with the best this year. It was a slow start for him but he has picked it up and has become Rodgers’ favorite target. With the Packers off to a great start in 2019, Adams will garner more attention and respect for his play.
What’s also astonishing regarding Adams is how well he plays on the road. In 39 career road games, Adams has caught 198 passes for 2380 and 20 touchdowns. While at home, his numbers are slightly less with 175 receptions for 2195 yards and 19 touchdowns. He’s a gamer and will do whatever it takes to help the team win.
Before he calls it quits, not only Packers’ fans will respect Davante Adams as one of the best in the league. He has earned that distinction already.