Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers, WR, (Fresno State University)
While trying to represent the majority of Mountain West schools during this segment, it would seem obvious that the Fresno State representative would be Oakland’s franchise quarterback Derek Carr. Carr is a phenomenal talent, and certainly one of the best players the conference has produced in years. With that being said, the player featured this week is one of the guys who was on the receiving end of many Carr passes. Enter Green Bay Packer and former Fresno State Bulldog wide receiver Davante Adams.
At Palo Alto High School in Northern California, Davante Adams was the definition of a stud athlete. Playing both ways on the football field as both a cornerback and receiver, Adams helped lead his team to a state championship in his senior year. Despite his personal and team success on the gridiron, Adams was also on the varsity basketball team all four years in high school, garnering a two-star recruit status in his senior year. His athletic frame and soft hands allowed him to find success on the basketball court, but his ability to get open and find space on the football field was going to ultimately lead him to the most successful sports career. After receiving numerous offers from a number of west coast schools, Adams chose to play collegiate football at Fresno State. After redshirting his freshman year, Adams immediately became a force in the up-tempo Bulldog offense.
In the NFL, reaching the 100-catch threshold is known as a major milestone. In college, playing a few less games makes 100 catches an extremely difficult task and one that isn’t accomplished often. In Adams’ two seasons at Fresno State, he accomplished that feat twice. In his (redshirt) sophomore and final collegiate season, Adams caught 131 balls for 24 touchdowns and over 1,700 yards. He was named a second team All-American that year, as well as receiving first team All-Mountain West honors in both of his playing years. Adams would declare for the draft following his sophomore season, getting picked up by the Green Bay Packers in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
It’s hard to imagine stepping into a better situation than being a young receiver for the Packers. With Aaron Rodgers behind center and experienced veteran wideouts Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson as mentors, Adams was put in a very good situation and has made the most of it. Of his four full seasons, Adams’ last two have been his most productive, recording 149 catches and 22 touchdowns in that span. Adams’ 2017 season saw him receive his first invite to the Pro Bowl. This was well-deserved, considering Rodgers was sidelined for a good majority of the year and Adams’ had to work with the inexperienced backup Brett Hundley.
At the end of 2017 season, the Packers locked up Davante Adams for 4 years. The contract will pay him $14.5 million over that time, cementing his status as an elite NFL wideout. The Packers will need his steady production to continue, considering the loss of All-Pro wideout Jordy Nelson. With Nelson gone, Rodgers will have to rely on both Adams and Cobb more than he has in years prior. The Packers always piece together a very formidable offense, and Adams will be in the forefront of that unit.
Sharing a field with Derek Carr in college and only playing two years for the Bulldogs, Adams sometimes gets forgotten as a Mountain West alumnus in the NFL. With that being said, he is without a doubt one of the best offensive players the conference has put out in the last five years, and when it’s all said and done he very well could be one of the best receivers in the history of the conference.