With Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, the Green Bay Packers are one of only two teams with two receivers ranked among the top 20 players in average salary at the position.
Is it possible Davante Adams has surpassed them both as the team’s No. 1 receiver?
Entering this week’s game against Houston, here’s how they rank:
Receptions: Nelson, 61; Adams, 58; Cobb, 54.
Yards: Adams, 776; Nelson, 754; Cobb, 558.
Average: Adams, 13.4; Nelson, 12.4; Cobb, 10.3.
Touchdown: Nelson, 9; Adams, 8; Cobb, 3.
Catch percentage: Cobb, 70.1; Adams, 67.4; Nelson, 56.5.
Not that there’s any deep meaning to this, but if you were to assign one point for ranking first, two points for ranking second and three points for ranking third, Adams would have eight points, Nelson nine and Cobb 13.
“Obviously, you want to be a No. 1 receiver when it comes down to contract time and things like that,” Adams said as part of a lengthy interview with reporters on Wednesday. “At the same time, it means nothing when you’re in this building with the guys we have. What does No. 1 receiver mean when you got Randall, Jordy and myself going out there? It’s anybody’s day and it could be everybody’s day. We have a common goal and it’s winning in here. We aren’t selfish. We don’t think about numbers. When the numbers come, it’s great if we can talk about it, watch film and love the routes we’re putting out there. But it really doesn’t mean a thing — not for myself. Not speaking selfishly, but when it’s time to get paid, you want to be No. 1 because that’s what it’s about. Anything else, we don’t think about it like that.”
Adams is right in that it could be “anybody’s day” on any given Sunday. Five players (Nelson, Cobb, Adams, Ty Montgomery and Jared Cook) have led the team in receptions at least once in the last eight games. Nelson ranks 13th in the league in receptions, Adams 20th and Cobb 30th, making the Packers the only team with three players in the top 30 in catches.
Through the years, quarterback Aaron Rodgers has made it clear that he doesn’t play favorites. Whoever is open is going to get the ball.
“Nobody cares about No. 1 receivers inside the locker room,” Rodgers said. “I saw somebody put it best — it might’ve been (former Packers linebacker Brady Poppinga — but No. 1 receivers, that’s fantasy football fodder. We throw to the open guy here. Whoever gets open the most is going to get the most targets his way. That No. 1 stuff is for fantasy football and contract negotiations.”
Adams is getting open and rewarding Rodgers. After catching 15-of-27 passers (55.6 percent) with no gains of 30-plus yards in the first five games, Adams has caught 43-of-59 (72.9 percent) in the last six games. He’s had at least a 37-yard gain in each of the last four games.
There were high hopes last season, but those were doomed by an early-season ankle injury. Healthy and hungry, Adams has been a force this season, whether it’s turning a short pass into something more (the opening touchdown at Philadelphia) or going deep for a big play (the second touchdown at Philadelphia and a 50-yard gain in the second half).
“He’s playing more confidently, I think, but the biggest thing for him is his health,” Rodgers said. “Last year he wasn’t healthy, and this year he’s been healthy and he’s playing the way that we projected him to play last year, when we said that he was the MVP of training camp and he was coming along and going to be a star. He’s just finally healthy, and when you’re healthy, you’re more confident. And when you’re more confident, you make plays like he did in the game on Monday and like he’s been doing most of the season.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.