In the second round of the National Football League (NFL) Draft on May 9, Davante Adams, a 2011 Palo Alto High School alumnus who later went on to Fresno State University, was drafted by the Green Bay Packers as the 53rd overall selection.
While there was presumably some risk in taking an early entry into the draft that had a particularly vast number of wide receivers, the redshirt sophomore did not see it that way.
“I feel like I’m one of the best playmakers [in the Draft class], being able to catch the ball deep or catching a short route and taking it the distance, and obviously I feel like I’m the best red zone threat in this draft,” Adams said, according to Fresno State’s website.
Adams received a third-round evaluation from the NFL Draft Advisory Board before declaring for the draft.
According to the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN), the Packers, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, have one of the best passing offenses in the NFL, ranking sixth out of 32 teams. Throughout the draft, the Packers have made it clear that they were looking for natural pass catchers, something they definitely acquired when they drafted Adams. Adams is excited to start his NFL career.
“I couldn’t be any happier being anywhere else,” Adams said. “Aaron Rodgers has always been one of my favorite quarterbacks and obviously has proven to be the best quarterback in the league. I mean, just like in college with having [quarterback] Derek Carr throw me the ball. He made my job easier. Aaron is definitely going to do the same thing, and I can’t wait to get started working with him.”
Adams was a huge asset to the Paly varsity football team, which he played during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. His senior year, Adams had the highest number of receiving yards out of the whole varsity team by more than 300 yards. The 2010-11 team held a 14-0-0 record and took the State Championships.
Adams also played on the Paly varsity basketball team all four years of high school, scoring 153 points his senior year and having the highest number of assists on his team.
Despite playing only two years for Fresno Bulldogs, Adams has had a remarkable run. Adams led the National College Athletics Association (NCAA) in pass receptions in 2013, catching 131 passes for 1718 yards and 24 touchdowns. In just two seasons, Adams set a record for Fresno State with 233 career receptions for 3030 total yards, averaging 9.0 receptions per game. Adams also set a Mountain West Conference record with 38 touchdown receptions. Adams caught at least one touchdown pass in 22 of the 26 games he played for the Bulldogs, with streaks of nine in a row as well as a Mountain West record of 11 in a row. Adams was also a runner-up for the Fred Biletnikoff Award, an award presented annually to the nation’s best college football receiver.
Despite his huge success in high school and college, Adams will have to earn his playing time with the Packers. The Packers already have receivers Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones playing for the team, all exceptional and celebrated players.
The Packers are hoping to see similarly impressive results in Adams’ performance in the upcoming season.
“Some of the ways he was able to create separation on the deep ball, the post route, the fade route, he was able to basically step on the defenders’ toes, close that cushion, create separation at the top of the route and get open,” Packer receiver coach Edgar Bennett said, according to Fresno State’s website. “Or, the other way, maybe he beat the defender at the line of scrimmage by his release, his hands, and stacking him at the line, you can create additional separation from that standpoint as well. He showed a number of different ways of creating the explosive game.”
Quarterback Rodgers seems to share coach Bennett’s enthusiasm. “Love it,” he tweeted after the pick.