SCOUTING Joe Adams

With their fourth round pick, the Panthers selected wide receiver and kick returner Joe Adams from Arkansas.

With their fourth round pick, the Panthers selected wide receiver and kick returner Joe Adams from Arkansas.

Adams had a second round grade from our friends at Optimum Scouting, and was rated as the fifth-best receiver available in the draft.

Read their scouting report on Adams:

Joe Adams is a tough, emotionally intense, productive football player, who has admirably overcome a position change, a crowded wide receiver corp, and a mild stroke to put himself in position to be an early round NFL draft pick. Despite lackluster workout numbers, Adams' athleticism and physical skills show up when he puts on the helmet and shoulder pads. He possesses the speed to stretch the field, the explosiveness to run away from defenders, and the quick change of direction ability to be a dynamic playmaker in open space.

Although he demonstrates the ability to stretch the defense and make plays down the field, Adams is most dangerous in the short passing game. Here, he repeatedly turns flares, screens, swings, and short crosses into big gainers, utilizing elite explosiveness, cut-back ability, and the knack for making people miss in the open field. And, for a small receiver, he's surprisingly strong through contact, able, in many instances, to maintain balance, while running through arm tackles. As a catcher of the ball, Adams is inconsistent, and probably will never be a natural "hands" catcher.

Too often, he allows the ball to get to his body, and he struggles when required to make adjustments on the fly, to catch balls outside his frame. He will make the tough catch in traffic, not wary of contact; however, he isn't likely to get his body into position to make a circus catch, even if unguarded. As a route runner, Adams is inconsistent, and, surprisingly, doesn't flash the suddenness or speed that he does after the catch. On patterns where he has to stick his foot in the ground and make a sharp cut, he keeps his pad level high, and doesn't gain a significant amount of separation coming out of breaks. Adams appears to be the rare player who has more speed and burst when carrying the football. It may be that his focus on the technical areas of route running keeps him from letting his athleticism flow naturally; as such, when he becomes more proficient and comfortable running patterns, that explosiveness may surface more, leading to better separation. It's important to remember that Adams came to Arkansas as a cornerback and running back, so his lack of experience, as a receiver, at least partly explains his unpolished nature.

Overall, Adams is a physically talented receiver, with explosive, big play potential in both the passing and return games. He may drop a pass every game, but, if he makes two or three big plays, an NFL team can live with the drop, and there's always the chance that he will break a game wide open. He's not a finished product, but there is both a lot of production, and a lot of potential in Joe Adams. As such, he should by a second round pick, come April.


Panther Insider Top Stories