|Class:||RS Sophomore||40 time:||4.55 (proj.)|
Among the receivers entering the 2014 NFL Draft, one of the most intriguing could be Fresno State redshirt sophomore Davante Adams. As one of the favorite targets of quarterback Derek Carr during the season, Adams had a standout year, and he appears ready to cash in as he’s declared early for the draft.
Adams just turned 21 last week so he still has plenty of time to develop. As of now, his floor appears to be that of a quality possession receiver. He’s big and physical and can make tough catches both near the sideline and in the end zone. He’s already a very disciplined route runner and knows how to use his leverage and manage his feet so that he stays in bounds on quick plays near the sideline. And he’s exceptionally athletic with superior jumping ability.
As good of an overall athlete as he is, though, there are going to be questions about whether he’s quick enough to be a top receiver in the NFL. With Fresno State, Adams generally found yards after the catch by “dancing” and faking out defenders. Against bigger, faster, smarter professionals, he’s going to have to rely more on pure speed and athleticism to create separation.
Adams is entering a loaded wide receiver class, but it’s probably the best move for him considering that he would have been losing Carr after this season anyway. Because there are so many pro-ready wideouts available, Adams will most likely have to settle for being a second or even early-third round pick, but that doesn’t diminish his ability to be an impact NFL receiver in short order.
- Very effective catching passes near the sideline
- Great at making catches in tight windows
- Uses his size well, takes advantage of his leverage to out-battle defensive backs for balls in the end zone and has enough leverage to hold off DBs when running streak routes
- Though he doesn’t have an expansive route tree, very polished route runner, has crisp footwork and stays in bounds on tough sideline routes
- Impressive leaping ability
- A great target in the end zone
- Still young and improving, has a lot of potential to develop and get better
- Hands are inconsistent, drops too many balls that should be easy catches
- Primarily a possession receiver, doesn’t do much to break free and create space
- Needs to improve his elusiveness; gets by at the college level by shaking from side to side and faking defenders out, which won’t work as well in the NFL
- On-field maturity needs to improve; seems to cut back on effort at times
Adams had a dominant 2013 season, leading the nation with 131 receptions and 24 receiving touchdowns. He finished second in receiving yardage only to Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks and ended the year with 1718 yards. Though he had several fantastic games, his most impressive effort was in the Bulldogs’ season finale against San Jose State when he racked up 13 receptions for 264 yards and three touchdowns. Relative to his production against Mountain West opponents, he was rather disappointing in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl against USC, catching just nine passes for 73 yards.
2014 Draft Projection: Second Round
Film Watched: vs. Nevada (2013), vs. Rutgers (2013), vs. New Mexico (2013), vs. Boise State (2013), vs. San Jose State (2013), vs. USC (2013), vs. SMU (2012)