The Packers have a tradition every year where they don’t draft a wide receiver in the first round. The last time they did was in 2002 when they drafted wide receiver Javon Walker out of Florida State. With so much talent in the 2021 draft class, it’s hard picturing them drafting a wide receiver in the first round this year with so many positions needed to be filled. There’s so much value to be found in the later rounds, and one prospect is Arkansas State wide receiver Jonathan Adams Jr.
Career At Arkansas State
Adams played four seasons at Arkansas State, and totaled 166 receptions for 2,306 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns. He averaged just under fourteen yards per reception in his career, and exploded in 2020 where he had over 1,100 yards receiving off of 79 receptions and totaled twelve touchdowns. During which, he showcased his high-level pass catching ability and proving he is a contested catch receiver. Ending his season on a high note, his last two games he averaged 9 receptions, 139 yards receiving, and 2 touchdowns.
Perhaps the best game of his season, and where he put his name in the mix was week two against Kansas State. He recorded seven receptions for 93 yards receiving and three touchdowns. He had a ton of highlight reel worthy catches, including the video posted below. Playing 83% of his snaps out wide, his longest reception that day was 33 yards.
Adams didn’t have a mind-blowing pro day, after measuring 6’3″, 220lbs and having a 4.59 40 yard dash. He also had a 7.04 second three cone drill, and a 137in. broad jump. These numbers might have him drop in expert rankings, but with his size and ability to jump off the line of scrimmage he could potentially be a third round pick.
HOW ARE WE NOT TALKING ABOUT THIS?!
Jonathan Adams, are you freaking serious?!
(This was ruled incomplete because of the slight bobble at the end, but idc) pic.twitter.com/j5thRrZVRC
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) March 4, 2021
Fitting In With The Green Bay Offense
The Packers need that big bodied receiver that can win the contested catches outside on the perimeter, and in man coverage. Pairing Adams Jr. with Davante Adams on the outside, you get that “enforcer” receiver along with that “finesse” receiver. Davante Adams wins the line of scrimmage with his feet. Whereas, Adams Jr. uses his size and speed to bully any defensive back covering him. He’s lethal on the outside go route, posting a 126.6 NFL Passer Rating when targeted 20+ yards downfield. Also, revisiting the video above, Adams Jr. gives Rodgers another weapon in the red zone who can make acrobatic adjustments, and make difficult catches. The duo would be terrorizing to opposing defenses, as they can stretch the field leaving the middle wide open for a player like Allen Lazard or Robert Tonyan.
Adams Jr. lacks in the route running tree, but possesses the raw talent he can harness and develop overtime. And as history has proven, Green Bay is known for developing its wide receivers through the draft. He has fantastic hands, and the ability to track the deep ball downfield. In addition, Adams Jr. possesses great athleticism for his size and has the ability to create separation between defenders.
The Packers look built for another long playoff run in 2021, after bringing a bunch of valuable players back this offseason. However, adding a player like Jonathan Adams Jr in the later rounds further solidifies their chances to dominate opposing defenses once again. His athleticism, grit, contested catch ability, and ability to track the deep ball might be just what Green Bay needs. He may not bring that first round draft capital, but provides great value in the later rounds of the 2021 NFL draft.
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