Davante Adams has been completely forgotten.
This time last year, Adams was supposed to be the next great Packers wide receiver. Adams only caught 38 passes and scored three touchdowns in his rookie season, but he had a breakout game in the postseason against the Cowboys, catching seven passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. Adams even bullied the Cowboys’ defensive backs, shaking J.J. Wilcox en route for the touchdown, and pounding Barry Church into the Earth on the game-clinching third down conversion.
Then there was last offseason, where the Packers raved about the way Adams came back after his off-season. Head coach Mike McCarthy said of Adams, “Davante, if you wanted me to pick an MVP or an all-star [of the offseason] he would definitely be atop the list.”
Aaron Rodgers was also vocal about Davante’s improvement.
And then he had this OBJ-esque one-handed catch during the Packers Family Night. Although the catch was just in practice, the catch displayed Adams talent and athleticism in one jump ball. The catch validated Rodgers and McCarthy’s words about his offseason.
Jordy Nelson tore his ACL, which definitely was a blow for the Packers at the time, but most people believed that if there was a team that could afford an injury at the wide receiver position, it was the Packers because of their depth. Adams was thought to be ready to takeover as the number two receiver for Green Bay. The Packers offense would continue to hum without Nelson because Adams would continue to develop as a potential pro-bowler, per Aaron Rodgers.
Then came the regular season and to put it politely, none of that happened.
Adams ended up being one of, if not the most disappointing players for the Packers last season. Adams had 50 catches on 93 targets, only reaching the end zone once. Adams had six drops, with a few of them being in key situations.
With Nelson not playing a single snap and Adams non-existent for a lot of games, the Packers offense wasn’t the same as in years past, and Rodgers looked more human than super hero.
Nelson is set to return, although he just suffered another knee injury but he’s expected to come back. Nelson’s return has most people believing the offense will come back right along with it. Jordy had 98 catches for over 1,500 yards in 2014-15. Nelson’s familiarity with Rodgers and ability to stretch the field can get the Packers offense back at a level that competes with the NFL’s best.
However, there are still many unknowns at the third receiver spot, with the first two spots locked up by Nelson and Cobb. Adams is in the mix with Ty Montgomery, who showed flashes as a rookie before getting injured, Jeff Janis who blew up against the Cardinals in the playoffs, and Jared Abbrederis who showed flashes last year as well. Adams, once believed to be a headliner for the Packers offense, is now crowded in the background. If Adams can emerge in camp and in the early part of the season, that would be best case scenario. The Packers should go into camp hoping Adams has a breakout season. His athleticism, skill, and potential is far and away better than Montgomery, Abbrederis, and Janis.
Jordy Nelson will help the Packers return to their elite offense; however, if Adams can hit the reset button on 2015-16 and get back to the excellence that had coaches and players raving before last season, the Packers will have a Super Bowl caliber offense.
Photo courtesy of blearcherreport.com.