In the midst of a 2015 season that saw a traditionally dominant Packers offense fizzle week after week, the Packers regularly fielded a green and gold punching bag. This punching bag wore a #17 jersey with the name “Adams” emblazoned on the back. Few players have been subjected to more criticism after a season of offensive disappointments than 2014 second-round draft pick Davante Adams. The slings and arrows have been relentless for the youngster from Fresno State.
The fall has been swift for Adams as he was being called the MVP of the 2015 offseason by head coach Mike McCarthy, while Aaron Rodgers predicted he would be a regular participant in the Pro Bowl for years to come. A mere year later and some local sportswriters are predicting that Adams could be a surprise cut this summer, largely due to an abundance of wealth at the wide receiver position in Green Bay.
Theoretically, this could happen, but I don’t expect that to be the case at all. In fact, I have a bold prediction about one Mr. Davante Adams. My bold prediction is that he will bounce back in a big way and post 10 touchdown receptions in 2016. It’s possible that you are reading this on your phone and think your eyes and the small print are deceiving you, but nay, you read it right. Davante Adams will get his 10 touchdowns this year.
The main reason for my optimism regarding Adams is that he will (hopefully) stay healthy for most if not all of the 2016 season. Excuse me while I go knock on every single piece of wood in my house…
…Aaaaannnd I’m back. It seems like every year in the NFL there is a player that has a subpar season that has experts everywhere wondering what is happening. Until it is discovered in the offseason that said player was dealing with an injury that was much more severe than what the team disclosed. There’s no question this was the case with Adams.
When Jordy Nelson was lost for the season with an ACL injury in August, the assumption among most Packers fans was that most of Nelson’s production would fall on the shoulders of the emerging wideout Adams and his receiving mate Jeff Janis (who I will not talk about here, but will name drop strictly so Google leads some clicks this way). This seemed like a logical thought process until Adams sprained his ankle in Week 2 against the Seahawks.
In hindsight, the Packers staff should have kept him on the shelf until he was fully recovered. However, it is understandable that they trotted him out the very next week against the Chiefs considering the huge hit the receiver depth chart already sustained with Nelson’s aforementioned injury. Desperation only made matters worse as Adams re-aggravated the ankle against the Chiefs and he wasn’t himself for the remainder of the 2015 season.
Now you may be asking (or maybe not, considering I have no idea who you are), “OK, even if he is healthy this year, how will he get 10 TD’s with a healthy Jordy back and new weapon tight end Jared Cook on the field?” That’s a great question, hypothetical reader. Thanks for participating. There are a couple reasons why I am bullish on my prediction.
First, Aaron Rodgers is the best player in the NFL at using a slight (perceived or not) to fuel incredible performance this side of Tom Brady. There’s no question Rodgers will light up the field in 2016 as he sticks it to all the detractors who continue to bring up the drop in play from 2015. That being the case, it wouldn’t be surprising if he threw 50 touchdown passes this year. That’s more than enough TD’s to satisfy a crowded receiver/tight end depth chart.
Second, it is reasonable to assume most defensive coordinators will have written off Adams based on his play from 2015 and therefore will devote the majority of their resources and defensive players to containing Nelson, Cook, and Randall Cobb. This will create plenty of favorable matchups for Adams. On top of that, Adams has the tools to be a deadly red zone weapon as he possesses an insane vertical leap, brute strength and route running savvy.
This is probably a good time to admit that I have had a man crush on Adams ever since Ted Thompson snagged him in 2014. I won’t rule out that my mad man love for him is causing me to listen more to my heart than my head, but at this point I’m willing to dig my heels in. Davante Adams will absolutely catch 10 touchdowns this season and you can tell everyone you know that you heard it here first on Titletown Sound off. If it doesn’t happen, then I promise to stop bothering you with those incessant Facebook friend requests. That’s a win for you either way.
Follow Nick Lauer on Twitter @NickLauer23