Scouting The Draft: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Another potential target for Geno Smith to throw to.

Introduction

Despite the signatures of Eric Decker and Jacoby Ford, the Jets still seem primed to draft from the deep WR pool in the early rounds.  Today we’ll look at one who could be in the mix on the second day of the draft, the ultra-productive Davante Adams out of Fresno State.

A lightly-recruited 2 star WR out of Palo Alto, California (Stanford’s backyard... whoops), Adams had offers from San Diego State and Fresno State before going with Fresno.  After redshirting his first year on campus, Adams proceeded to put up video game numbers over the next 2 years, putting up 3,000 yards and 38 TDs on 233 catches.  With Derek Carr leaving and nothing left to show at the college level, Adams forwent his final 2 seasons of eligibility and declared for the 2014 draft.

Measurables

Height: 6-0 7/8"

Weight: 212

Arm length: 32 5/8"

Hand size: 9"

40 yard dash: 4.56

10 yard split: 1.53

Vertical leap: 39.5"

Broad jump: 10-3

Bench press: 14

3-cone drill: 6.82

20 yard shuttle: 4.30

Stats:


Receptions Yards Yards Per Catch Touchdowns
2012 102 1,312 12.9 14
2013 131 1,719 13.1 24

Positives

  • Good NFL size at 6-1, 212, and has a broad frame to add muscle and become stronger.
  • Despite smallish hands, has excellent grip strength and squeezes the football.
  • Uses long arms and high vertical to high point the football and win jump balls
  • Uses his body to shield defenders away from the ball
  • Very good at beating the press and setting up corners with both inside and outside releases
  • Accelerates quickly- reaches his top speed fast
  • Elusive and strong after the catch.  Consistently breaks tackles when he gets the ball and has good run instincts in terms of cutting back and following blocks, will be a weapon on screen passes.
  • A natural hands catcher who plucks the ball out of the air
  • Good sideline awareness when running the fade route, which he ran an extraordinary amount of times at Fresno.
  • Said to be an intelligent player.

Negatives

  • Does not have great speed and won’t blow the top off of defenses
  • Can get outmuscled by the physical corners- needs to improve functional strength (does have the frame to)
  • Inflated production from funky system, Derek Carr, weaker competition
  • Inconsistent effort as a run blocker- one play he’ll seal off his man perfectly, the next he’ll completely whiff
  • Simplistic route tree, mostly ran fade routes, screens, comebacks, and slants.  Rounded his routes the few times he ran hard plant routes.
  • Somewhat prone to "hearing the footsteps"- saw a couple drops he alligator armed because the hit was coming.
  • Can play a little high at times coming off the LOS

Conclusion

I believe Adams could be a nice addition to a team and has the potential to be a high end #2 receiver.  He does a lot of things well, and his ability to juke the press and break tackles makes him a bit of a unique player.  However, Adams lacks the speed and route running to have elite upside, and he tends to play with an inconsistent and occasionally sloppy effort.  That said, his production is undeniable and at age 21 he still has plenty of room to grow.  If a team has a competent WR coach and can get the already pretty strong frame filled out, I see no reason why Adams couldn’t be a thousand yard receiver at the pro level.

NFL Comparison: Michael Crabtree, 49ers

Similar to Crabtree, Adams is a great RAC receiver who is tough to press.  Crabtree is a better route runner which gave him higher end upside, but both players win with their frame, length, and strong hands moreso than athleticism.  This is far from a bad boom scenario for Adams.

Draft him for the Jets?

Adams isn’t my favorite day 2 guy, but I don’t think I’d have a problem winding up with Adams.  I like his potential.  I think the Jets can do better with their second round pick, but if the Jets were to trade down towards the end of the second or top of the 3rd, Adams would be on my radar, and I’d be all over it if Adams drops our 3rd.

Highlights:

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