Player: ADAMS, Davante
School: Fresno State
Year Entered: 2011
Birth date: 12/24/92
College Position: Slot
Pro Position: Flanker
Bench Press: 225x14
Power Clean: 325
Vertical Jump: 39 1/2"
Broad Jump: 10'03"
Arms: 32 5/8"
Time (10): 1.64
Time (20): 2.68
Time (40): 4.56
20-Yd Shuttle: 4.30
60-Yd Shuttle: n/a
2013 Worst Games: Cal Poly, Hawaii
2012 Worst Games: Tulsa, Boise State
Adams has an angular frame with smooth muscle tone, developed chest, long arms, good bubble and tapered thighs and calves. He has low body fat with a frame that can carry additional bulk with no loss in quickness. He has just adequate weight room strength for his position, but will still consistently break tackles and gain extra yardage after the catch, as he plays with better power on the field and uses his hands well to escape the jam. He is split high, with the long legs needed to build acceleration quickly and has very good leaping ability, thanks to his prep time as a combination forward/guard on his high school basketball team.
Adams is an athletic mover who might lack blazing speed, but has the acceleration and stride to get into his routes smoothly and is very slippery once he gets behind the defender. He generates a strong hand push to prevent from being rerouted coming off the snap, and has the change of direction agility and loose hips to elude in the open field (6.82-second three-cone drill). He has loose hips and good forward body lean, as it is rare to see him get upright or run a bit straight-legged. The thing you see on film is his ability to explode and take that extra step needed to maintain acceleration throughout his patterns. He has excellent hand/eye coordination to get to the ball at its high point and the size and body control to time his leaps and contort his body to get to the tough throws in a crowd. He is very flexible for a tall receiver, flashing acrobatic moves to get to most balls thrown to him. He is a long strider with enough of a functional second gear to get on top of the defense. He has excellent balance adjusting to downfield passes and knows how to sink his hips and drop his weight to elude after the catch. His fluid stride is a definite asset, as he instantly becomes a dangerous threat with the ball in his hands, especially when challenging second level defenders to mirror him (see 2013 Nevada-Las Vegas, New Mexico and Utah State games). You can see that he has the functional speed, agility and quickness throughout the route progression.
Adams is a good student of the game, having no problems retaining plays. He plays with good field vision to recognize defensive coverage and is quick to work back to the pocket when he sees his quarterback pressured (see 2013 Rutgers, Idaho and Nevada-Las Vegas and 2012 Weber State and New Mexico games). He understands all three receiver position assignments (slot, flanker, split end) and does a very good job adjusting in his routes when on the move. The thing you notice is his awareness of the soft spot in the zone, quickly settling into it. He shows very good sideline vision, keeping his balance and feet in bounds. He is also quite effective at setting up defensive backs down field. He just knows the playbook inside/out and shows quick instincts to come up and deliver crunching hits when serving as a second level blocker for the ground game.
Adams is a quiet, respectful sort that is a "yes sir, no sir" type that is all business in his approach to football, both on and off the field. He has no known off-field issues and even with just two years of college experience, he is mature for his age and the type that will not be a problem for the team in the locker room.
Adams is a throwback to another era, and would look ideal in a New England or Green Bay uniform, as he has the skills to not only excel as a receiver, but is a quality cut blocker with the ability to get out in front and stalk second level defenders when lending support for the running game. He has a strong defensive player's mentality from his playing days in high school. He has the ability to be a sensational gunner on special teams and even though he was not used that much in that role due to his value on offense, he loves to tackle and has a good urgency getting down the field to deliver the blow. He is fearless going for the ball in a crowd and very combative with his hands, whether to escape the jam or to lock on to a defender when blocking. He shows excellent ball concentration going up for the jump ball and never flinches, even when kamikaze defenders try to attack his legs. He is very physical down near the goal line and uses his hands well to prevent the cornerback from riding up on his body (see 2013 Rutgers, Boise State, Idaho and New Mexico games). He shows willingness to get to the poorly thrown ball and there is never any hesitation in his game, especially when going inside and taking a hit across the middle. He is an above average blocker and will attack defenders and break tackles in attempts to get to any pass thrown even close to him (on 27 non-touchdown receptions in 2013, it took multiple defenders to bring him down after the catch).
Adams is the consummate team player. He has become a determined worker who does all the extra things needed to improve his craft. He takes well to hard coaching and will not hesitate to mentor the younger teammates. He has that attitude to succeed that makes it very easy for the staff to coach him. He will do whatever it takes, whether in the training room, film room, practices and games to improve his performance level. On the field, he has the skills and knows how to use them, whether as a pass catcher, ball carrier, returner, on special teams as a gunner, or attacking defenders after they've created Nevada turnovers. He just needs to do a better job of securing the ball, as several of his drops have come from trying to make things happen before he has the ball properly protected.
Adams gets a good initial thrust off the line, using his hands with force to defeat the jam, but when he does not get his hands up quick, he does not have the great power to simply chuck through and push off a physical press. He is more quicker than fast, but glides to top acceleration nicely and don't be fooled by him, as he can lull a defender "to sleep" and then simply put on the afterburners to run to daylight (see 2013 Nevada-Las Vegas, New Mexico, Utah State and 2012 Colorado, New Mexico and Air Force games). He uses his size well to slip through tight areas and has enough burst to gobble up the cushion. He has adequate strength to uncover and get into his route with no hesitation. Adams just knows how to use his frame to prevent defenders from rerouting him, when he keeps his hands active. He can threaten deep vs. off coverage and while he is very physical, he shows a smooth open field stride. As he continues to refine his route running, it will become more and more difficult for a smaller cornerback to handle the challenge of covering him, especially going for the ball at its high point. He doesn't have that sudden explosion to leave defenders rocking back on their heels, but shows the savvy and hand usage to gain good separation coming off the snap.
Adams is the type of player who compensates for a lack of blazing speed with physical play and the ability to get to the top of his route and build acceleration needed, along with that second gear to leave defenders grasping at air. He comes off the line with a strong surge, but has his most success when he uses his hands with force to beat the jam. He has the size to shield defenders from the ball and is a physical presence in the middle of the field, but must be more conscious of ball security. He does a good job of adjusting to the coverage and even though he frequently catches in a crowd, he has the fluid stride to not have to throttle down coming out of his breaks. Adams runs crisp routes and drops his hips and sinks his weight to separate out of his cuts. He has very good feet and it is rare to ever see him shuffle then or round his breaks. He has a smooth slide to get to the open zone and a decent second gear to quickly eat up the cushion. Much like the Colts' Reggie Wayne, Adams does not show track star blazing speed, but rather a smooth stride and a variety of moves to get open after the catch. He shows the forward body lean and hand push to play off the cornerback to track and grab the ball without breaking stride. He plays the ball nicely when it is in flight and adjusts to make the tough grabs along the sidelines. Even when he runs mostly underneath and intermediate routes, he still needs to be accounted for at all times, as he is too slippery for a defensive back to get lethargic thinking he can cover him on deep throws (see 2013 Nevada-Las Vegas, New Mexico and San Jose State and 2012 New Mexico games). If a defender does not see Adams as a deep speed threat, he will soon lose the battle, as the Fresno State receiver demonstrated in 2013, he will find ways to get behind the coverage.
Adams is a long strider with deceptive initial quickness, but not one with blazing speed. He has the burst agility to get off the ball and the hand usage to defeat the jam, but it is his cutting ability and steady acceleration that allows him to gain advantage and run by the defensive backs. He is very good settling underneath, making him a nice target in the short area. His balance and good feet let him deal with operating in tight spaces (see 2013 Cal Poly, Boise State and San Diego State games).
Adams does a good job of weaving through a crowd and has the power to leverage defenders to gain separation. He shows very good hip sinking agility and does a good job of getting depth in all of his routes. He is very good planting and driving in and out of his breaks. His ability to separate out of his up field cuts allows him to run crisp vertical routes. He just doesn't have an explosive burst, but he stays square in his routes, especially when coming back to the ball, which he had to do often this year due to Fresno State's passing attack facing constant blitzing by opponents trying to stall their aerial attack. He is solid on option routes and shows fluid gliding ability on slant patterns. He is just the rare type of player who can get open simply on his ability to set up defenders and make an effort to be precise in his cuts.
Adams is a power-oriented runner who can stem and weave to avoid, but he can also shock a lethargic defender with his ability to generate a second gear. He uses his hands very effectively to gain separation after the catch, showing the loose hips, head fake and strong leg drive to break the initial tackle. Adams is frequently played tight, but can hand jolt the defender to rock his opponent back on their heels. He shows great awareness to uncover, but has to learn how to use his body better to shade defenders from the ball, as he does not do a great job of distributing the ball away from his opponent, leaving him susceptible to the costly interception. He takes no wasted steps with his acceleration out of transition cuts and does a fine job on comeback routes. His deceptive speed is enough to surprise a defender on vertical routes and his body frame and quick feet lets him get to most poor throws along the sidelines, but he is not the type that can just simply win foot races.
Adams is very conscious of sticks and chains, but has had fumble issues, possibly due to impatience, and has to keep the ball closer to his frame when running with it in the open field (see 2013 Hawaii, Nevada and Utah State games). He is quite nimble keeping his feet inbounds along the sidelines and makes very good body adjustments on the move, but has to look the ball in better before turning and heading up field (led to several drops of easy catches). He does a good job of looking the ball in over his shoulder and can get open and settle in the soft spot of the zone. With his physical play in the red zone, he certainly knows where the end zone is (see 2013 Cal Poly, San Diego State and Wyoming games). In a crowd, he excels at timing his leaps and sacrificing his body to get to the ball at its high point. He simply makes the difficult catch due to his above average power to fend off defenders. Adams is just too physical for the smaller defenders to take down, especially in the open field. He can weave through traffic with the best of them, reminding some of Chad Johnson during his prime at Cincinnati in that area. He will go for the ball with good determination on crossing routes and shows outstanding physicality combating opponents to get to the pigskin over the middle. You also see on film that he has the ability to make the grab with defenders all over him down field, but will then show a lapse of concentration in protecting the sphere (has to distribute it better away from defenders).
Adams is a contortionist who always seems to get his body into position to make the catch. He times his leaps well and will not hesitate to sacrifice his body to get to the ball in a crowd. He has the body control, balance and jumping skills to reach and pluck the ball away from his frame and at the high point. He shows very good flexibility to get to off-target throws and looks natural playing the ball down field. He has the body control to get in position and makes plays over his shoulder look routine. He has the natural ball adjustment skills that separate him from most receivers. His ability to get to the right spot to make plays, especially on those behind him, makes him a dangerous threat once he gets the ball into his hands, but he still must learn to protect it better to prevent losing it from physical initial contact.
With his timing and body control, Adams manages to get to most balls thrown his way, especially at going up to pluck them at its high point (39 ?-inch vertical jump). He uses his body well to get vertical, thanks to impeccable timing. With his body frame, he should be able to continue to be dominant attacking the jump balls.
Adams has a decent wingspan and normal sized hands to get to any pass thrown his way. He just needs to learn how to shield the ball from defenders using his body, but shows good scooping agility to get to the low, shoestring tosses. He will extend and pluck the ball away from the body's frame and has soft hands to look the ball in nicely. The thing I like is Adams' ability to play the ball over his shoulder and make body adjustments to track the ball in flight. With his size and strong running stride, he could turn into a very capable punt returner, adding to his pedigree, but must look to secure the ball better before attempting to run with it.
Run After the Catch
Adams is not the type to explode up the field after the catch, leaving defenders grasping at air, but he is a very strong runner who powers through the initial tackle and is a load to bring down once he builds up to top acceleration (see 2013 Rutgers, Cal Poly, Nevada and Southern Cal games). His running strength will generally see him drag the smaller defenders, but when he weaves through traffic, you forget all about his decent speed, as he frustrates defenders, who struggle to contain him, especially in one-on-one confrontations. He just shows the elusiveness to create his own space, showing the vision to make that big play once he finds a crease. The ball comes alive in his hands, evident by his 63 first downs on 79 of the catches he recorded after he broke away from initial contact in 2013. He simply bounces off tackles and has the juking moves to make his man miss. Adams ranks with the elite RAC players in the college game, having gained at least ten yards after defeating the initial hit on 37 of his 79 grabs where he broke initial contact (caught a total of 131 balls).
Adams attacks with aggression and stays with the play until the finish in the second level. He has more than enough core strength to prevent from being pushed back into the pocket when working in-line. He has the hand usage to sustain when he is able to lock on, along with the brute power to drag the second level defenders down when lead blocking for the ground game and is very good at working back to the pocket when the QB is pressured. When playing off the line, he is quite effective at getting low to chop down linebackers and safeties at their legs in run support.
Adams is a physical open field runner who might lack blazing speed, but shows good quickness and smoothness getting into his routes. He has the size and adequate strength to get a clean release vs. the jam, when he keeps his hands active to prevent the defender from latching on to his jersey. While he runs a lot of intermediate routes, he has the functional second gear to gobble up the cushion working his way into the deep zone. Few receivers in the game, college or pro, have the ability to impact a game like Adams, especially when working inside the red zone. He is quite effective operating on slant and option routes, staying square coming back for the ball. He shows the ability to get to his top acceleration when going vertical and has the loose hips and plant-&-drive agility to excel on comeback routes.
Adams needs to become more efficient utilizing his hands to get a quick break to defeat the jam, but when he does utilize them properly, he is capable of getting the clean release. He has a short area burst that allows him to come out of his breaks cleanly to get on top of the defenders. He is most effective when working in a crowd, as he times his leaps well, but has to do a better job of using his frame to shield defenders from the ball. He is flawless timing his leaps to get to the ball at its high point and has the leg drive and the body weave to break tackles and elude after the catch.
Adams displays natural ball adjustment agility, especially when getting to off-target throws. He has very good timing to stem and move defensive backs out of their pedal early. He shows proper placement and soft hands to secure the ball away from his frame and very good instincts, knowing when to use his juking moves to elude. His large catching radius allows him to get to most balls thrown his way, demonstrating great feet working along the sidelines to stay in bounds.
Adams is quite effective getting low and letting the ball absorb into his body when working underneath, but there will be some mental lapses resulting in drops of easy catches when he tries to run before securing the sphere. He is a load to bring down in isolated coverage, as he does a good job of keeping his shoulders square and driving through tackles. Because of his size, most of the smaller defensive backs don't present him with a challenge, as he consistently finds ways to get behind the coverage.
He has the nimble feet that let him squeeze through a crowd and operate with little space. He consistently gets open because he can set defenders and make an effort on his cuts. When he shows proper focus on the ball in flight (much better in 2013, but does have some concentration issues), he can make some very difficult receptions and just seems to have that knack for getting in the right spot to make plays, especially behind him. He has decent numbers in the weight room, and knows how to use his frame to gain established position going for the high ball. Because of his leg drive, Adams has developed into one of college's better RAC players.
Overall, Adams is simply a tough, physical runner with good hands and deceivingly good route running ability. He plays with excellent tenacity and finds ways to make the big plays. He has no problems with his release vs. press coverage when he keeps his hands active and because of his size, the smaller defensive backs are not a factor. He is a rugged, strong open field runner and with quick feet, valid hips and a courageous route runner with enough elusiveness to make the first man miss, but must do a better job of protecting the ball, along with being a bit more patient and securing the ball better before running with it. Looking at his productivity in finding the end zone and/or setting up others to score, Adams will be the type of player that pro defenses will have to account for him anytime he is on the field.
Final grade: 7.04. Possesses at least average to above average critical factors in all areas...Will contribute immediately, whether as a starter or a valuable reserve...Will move into the starting lineup with seasoning...Above average player who needs to refine certain areas.
REGGIE WAYNE-Indianapolis…Like Wayne and former Packers receiver James Jones, Adams does not need to rely on blazing speed to be a dangerous threat. The trio do it with a physical running style and loose hips to weave through traffic, making them players that need to be accounted for every second they are on the field.