We should not factor Davante Adams into the Packers’ future

It was Davante Adams’ job to step up to the plate in 2015 for the Green bay Packers – and ‘disappointing’ would be a polite way to summarize his performance.

Touted as the preseason MVP by Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy, and relied upon to shoulder responsibility after a Jordy Nelson season-ending surgery, Adams did not live up to what seemed like manageable expectations.

As a result, in part, the Packers passing offense tied for 25th in the NFL and fell outside of the top 10 for the first time ever with Aaron Rodgers at starting quarterback.

So, let me pose this question: is our sample size large enough to call Adams a bust?

Statistically, the answer is yes.

Often times, Adams seemed a little like a scapegoat for the lack of offensive production – but the numbers indicate that he was among the least efficient receivers in the NFL.

According to Football Outsiders’ advanced metrics—Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR) and Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) – Adams’ overall rating in 2015 was second-last among receivers who qualify (targeted at least 50 times), and better only than Tavon Austin of the St. Louis Rams.

In layman’s terms, DYAR ranks a wide receiver’s overall value, while DVOA ranks a wide receiver’s value-per-play. Of the 87 receivers targeted 50 or more times, Adams was No. 86 in DYAR and No. 84 in DVOA.

Adams’ yard-per-catch average (9.7) exceeded only Austin (9.1) and the Lions’ Golden Tate (9.0), and was the worst the Packers had seen since 1951.

Adams had just one touchdown reception in 2015 – a number that seems nearly impossible for a receiver that was healthy most of the season and the reigning NFL MVP throwing him the ball.

Although General Manager Ted Thompson has never missed on a WR/TE drafted in the top three rounds – Greg Jennings, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley and Randall Cobb are among the pass catchers drafted in either Rd. 2 or Rd. 3 – it might be time we chalk up Adams as a miss.

I’m tempted to say that he deserves one more season to earn his keep, but with Nelson returning and the emergence of Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis, Adams’ productivity does not warrant playing time. There is also the potential of Ty Montgomery making an impact after an ankle injury cut his rookie campaign short, and the chance Thompson uses a Day 1 or Day 2 pick on a wide receiver.

One play in particular stands out to me in my “does-this-player-really-want-to-be-on-the-field?” evaluation of Adams.

Week 12. Thanksgiving night – Packers v. Bears. Brett Favre’s name and retired No. 4 jersey revealed on Lambeau Field’s North façade at halftime. An ailing, yet exuberant Bart Starr emerged from the tunnel to greet Favre and congratulate him.

The Packers trailed 17-13 with just over three minutes in the fourth quarter, but were driving on the Chicago defense and at midfield. Rodgers looked to Adams on a routine slant, and Adams was bumped off of his route by Chris Prosinksi, gave zero effort to fight through the screen and allowed an otherwise on-target pass from Rodgers to drift into the arms of Tracy Porter.

Remarkably, the Packers had another chance to take the lead with under 30 seconds to play. A fourth-and-goal pass thrown to Adams, that was objectively a touch high, went through the hands of Adams.

The Bears won 17-13.

I’ll admit, one play should not determine the fate of a player … but numbers indicate that Adams is consistently lackluster.

When factoring a healthy Jordy Nelson into any equation, there is no legitimate playing time that Adams should see. Though he’ll likely be on the 2016 Packers roster, we should not consider Adams as the Packers look to remedy their offense.

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23 thoughts on “We should not factor Davante Adams into the Packers’ future

  1. 101% agree. Davante Adams presented flickers (at times) of the emergence quality NFL skills and Adams has the size; however, Adams just cannot catch! The Pack have a lot high quality receivers… players that can catch. Sadly, the GM missed here… not badly, Adams could play on many teams in the NFL; but the Packers have just too much talent to keep him afloat.

    1. I wouldn’t say “He Can’t Catch”, he caught 233 passes (Something Crazy) in his last 2 years at Fresno St. The expectations placed on this guy from the start were pretty high. A 2nd round WR pick by TT means he should be an All Pro, everybody else has been.

      I think things really snowballed on the kid (Barely 22 at start of TC last season). A few drops, and injury, those stares from Rodgers when he did F up, he started pressing and it got worse and worse. 22 years old and the entire fan base screaming BUST, BUST, why can’t you pick up Jordys slack? EVERYBODY suggested this kid was ready to step in for our Best WR and the offense wouldn’t suffer.

      1. You make some great points….but he played at Fresno who else was there to throw too…lol! And like you (I’m sure), you saw Adams drop ball after ball after ball…the article notes: “Of the 87 receivers targeted 50 or more times, Adams was No. 86 in DYAR and No. 84 in DVOA.” That sounds like a lot of chances with low… no…very low production at his position. I did not think he was going to be Jordy…but come on, catch some of the easy ones. Keep in mind…this is a business, and the Packers can and should replace him with someone. As I noted… I don’t see him as a bust… he should play in the NFL…but he is not at the Packer’s quality level to start (GB has some strong and young WRs that are quality and hungry). A good fit would be in Atlanta or Tampa…

      2. It ain’t the same getting A’s in high school than getting A’s at Princeton or Harvard where you’re expected to spend about 14 hours a day in a library if you want an A and, even so, you could end up with a B-.

  2. Odd that black football players are taking the brunt of the blame for Packers failure, Adams, Lacy. The truth of the matter is the offensive line and Aaron Rodgers blew it.

    1. Race? Really??? I cannot say that you are ignorant because I do not know you; however, your perspective is warped… look at the stats… the stats do not include race or even age. After you intelligently review, open your mind that Adams may not be a first, second, or maybe third level WR next to the talent completion in Green Bay. I think Adams would work on another team…one with less high caliber WRs. Rodgers was way off last year… the O-line requires lots of help and restructuring… but this article is about Adams and his stats. There are many other articles that address Rodgers off year and the O-line. This issue and article has nothing to do with race… it is about production.

    2. Race? Really??? I cannot say that you are ignorant because I do not know you; however, your perspective is warped… look at the stats… the stats do not include race or even age. After you intelligently review, open your mind that Adams may not be a first, second, or maybe third level WR next to the talent completion in Green Bay. I think Adams would work on another team…one with less high caliber WRs. Rodgers was way off last year… the O-line requires lots of help and restructuring… but this article is about Adams and his stats. There are many other articles that address Rodgers off year and the O-line. This issue and article has nothing to do with race… it is about production.

    3. So lets just ignore the statistics and facts? You probably think OJ was innocent as well. Sad.

    4. Let me guess, you also thought Will Smith deserved an Oscar because he was black

  3. No doubt Adams had a very disappointing season, but have to disagree about not factoring him into the future. Can’t count on him having a future, but neither can you most young 1st and 2nd year players. Adams is no different.
    IMO the VAST majority of fans had completey unrealistic expectations of Adams in the first place! So many acted like Adams was going to bethe next great Packer WR. I NEVER did… I alway said his ceiling was that of a good #3 WR at best. I thought he would perform better last year than he did, but I never thought in any way he would bring what Jordy did as a legit #1 WR, he just doesn’t and never will have the skill set necessary to be a legit #1WR.

    Blame yourselves for unrealistic expectations no matter what McCarthy and Rodgers said in the offseason.. WHat’s said in the offseason doesn’t mean squat in training camp!

  4. At one point last season I was done with Adams but I think the Packers still think he can become a big part of the offense. I went back and looked at Nelsons stats and he didn’t break out until SB 45, that was him coming out party and he still had 4 drops. I’m in NO WAY suggesting Adams could be the next Jordy Nelson, but I think he could become the next James Jones. I want to see what he does now that he has is own position coach. Nelson and Cobb both liked and endorsed Getsky so lets see what happens before we label him a “Bust”.

    Dan S and I both felt the Packers missed when Adams was picked. I was a huge Allen Robinson supporter who went to the Jags and lit it up this year, Dan liked Moncrief who went to Indy, but both have been better than Adams. Adams came into the NFL at 21, turned 23 in December so he’s still really really young. Not making excuses but I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned it around, BUT he needs to do it fast, like NOW.

  5. Like most I think that we need to wait a year to see. However, perhaps Ted drafts another WR even though we (on paper) don’t really need one now.

  6. Like most I think that we need to wait a year to see. However, perhaps Ted drafts another WR even though we (on paper) don’t really need one now.

  7. No. Adams had a bad year, no argument. Lots of guys on offense had bad years. To lay the blame for a poor passing on offense on Adams is kind of scapegoating, IMO. Your assumption is that Adams was ‘healthy’ for most of the season and I don’t believe that is true. He missed three games totally and parts of several others. Even when in the lineup, you could see that he didn’t have his customary burst. And yet, he was third in receptions behind Cobb and RRod. Go back and watch Adams’ rookie year, especially the game against New England; this guy has NFL talent and it would be foolish to write this guy off at this point.

    1. In History??? I kind of doubt a late 2nd round WR will “Go down in history as one of the biggest busts ever”. To many players just drafted by the Raiders in the 1st round to own that claim. LOL….

      1. He is a big bust when the Packers and press touted him as the replacement answer to Jordy Nelson. Set a record for dropped passes and even lost one game for the Packers because he wouldn’t complete his route and the pass was easily intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Yes, he’s a big bust.

        1. Which game was it where a pass was returned for a TD?
          Also, It took Nelson 3 FULL years to become who he has. Jordy’s coming out party was SB45 and he also had the benifit of playing with DD, Jennings, and Jones. Nelson normally saw the defenses 4th best CB and it still took 3 full years. BTW…Jordy dropped 4 passes in the SB and STILL turned out okay.

          No WR Coach, an O-Line playing guys who had no business playing in the first place, and 22 years old expected to be a savior. If he “Blows this year I’ll be the first to step up and call him a bust but give him another year with an actual position coach before placing a label on him. Christ, what did you say about Nelson after 2 seasons?

          1. He may not get the opportunity to prove himself this year because rumors out of Green Bay say he may be cut from the team. Aaron Rodgers tried his best to get Adams involved last season, targeting him 93 times. Adams was only able to turn those 93 targets into 50 catches for 483 yards and a lone touchdown. To make matters worse, Adams ranked in the top 12 (bottom 12?) of the NFL with six dropped passes. Players who put the ball on the ground aren’t around long.The game Adams didn’t complete his route that led to a pick six interception was the Thursday night loss to the Chicgao Bears. Coach Mike McCarthy basically blamed Adams for that key interception Rodgers threw in the fourth quarter. “It’s a basic route,” he said. “It didn’t look like it was a very good route.” Adams got lazy and gave up on the route. That led to a pick six and a loss to the Bears. Ugh.

  8. Great Article, forgot to mention when Adams broke the NFL record for worst receiver on 20 targets in a game, but other than that, spot on.

  9. Totally agree! His 2015 stats were so unimaginably pathetic I gave Adams the nickname “fancy pants” as not having the real pants to go forward. Ted Thompson’s 2014 picks were, in my humble opinion, the worst he’s ever made! Why with Davante, Khiri, Carl Bradford, and less so, Richard Rodgers, what could have been worst planned? He would have been better off shooting darts blindfolded at a board with players pictures. But I think “stellar” are TT’s picks for 2016. Let’s rest for now and hope for some TT magic.

  10. I’d say that in most situations it would be Adams over Abby, BUT Abby is fan favorite. A Wisconsin native and University of Wisconsin walk on who made it big. He was drafted in the 5th round compared to Adams 2nd and he didn’t have that much production but he only played a few down compared to Adams. If it were me I’d cut Adams and save Abby.

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