The Green Bay Packers have one of the best air attacks in football, and Davante Adams enjoyed a major spike in production in 2016 — but what will he do in 2017?
In 2016, the Packers boasted an impressive arsenal of targets for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. They had Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams at receiver alone. This season, they’ve added tight end Martellus Bennett to the mix. The addition is definitely welcome, but causes many to wonder who’s production will be dipping in 2017. Who will be essentially pushed out of the top target race?
A year ago, Adams would’ve seemed like a prime candidate. While he improved statistically from his rookie year, it was only barely (12 more catches for 37 more yards and two fewer touchdowns). Meanwhile, he was showing an alarming new habit, dropping passes.
2016 changed all that, though. Adams had career-bests in receptions (75), yards (997), yards-per-receptions (13.3), and touchdowns (12). While drops were still a little bit of an issue, he clearly improved in that area as well.
Meanwhile, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson both saw production dips in 2016. Nelson’s was minor, and still an improvement from two years ago (he missed 2015 due to injury). However, Cobb saw a major dip for the second-straight season.
Due to Adams’ obviously increased role in the offense in 2016, it’s hard to imagine he sees too much of a drop-off. Unless the drops become a problem again, the fourth-year pro has cemented himself into the offensive game plan.
Thanks to that, expect to see Adams get targeted plenty early on in the season. If he can prove early that last year was no fluke, the targets won’t stop coming.
Still, even if Adams continues to play well, there are a lot of mouths to feed for Rodgers and the Packers’ offense. Obviously, the running backs will get their fair share of carries, while Nelson and Bennett will command a good chunk of targets.
Adams has usurped Cobb as the No. 2 target in terms of receiver though. Meanwhile, with Bennett being new to the offense, it may take a few weeks for him to get on the right wavelengths with Rodgers. Bennett might take some of his shorter routes, and red zone targets. This will lead to a drop-off in touchdowns, but an increase in yards-per-reception. In the end, Adams will have another productive year, being a reliable target for Rodgers.