Packers 2016 Recap: WR Davante Adams

2016 Stats

  • 75 receptions, 997 yards, 12 TDs
  • Pro Football Focus: 74.7/100 (49th of 115 qualified wide receivers)

Expectations coming into the season: High
Expectations were: Exceeded

Analysis: Adams thrives as one of Rodgers trusted targets

Before 2016, Davante Adams had only caught four touchdown passes over two years. This year, he more than tripled his career totals with 12 scoring grabs. After an ankle injury slowed him down through most of last season, Adams arrived in a triumphant way this year.

There are three qualities that make Adams a successful receiver: his explosive release off the line of scrimmage, a propensity to make tough catches with defenders hanging on him, and elusiveness to gain yards after the catch. 

Those qualities showed in bursts in his first two seasons. 2015 was disastrous for Adams, who caught 50 of the 94 targets that came his way. It was, according to Pro Football Reference, one of the least efficient seasons by a receiver in 25 years.

Fans pounded their fists, angry that the second-round pick didn’t step up when Jordy Nelson missed all of last season. Adams was battling his own ankle injury through last season, one that hampered him after the Seattle game in September. 

A healthy Adams put all of his best qualities together this season. He led all NFL wide receivers in catching 70% of passes when there was a defender within one yard of him. Most receivers average about 40%, and Adams held about a 10% advantage over the next closest receiver.

In the Wild Card game against the New York Giants, Adams was the best wide receiver on the field. He hauled in eight receptions for 125 yards and scored the game's first touchdown with two minutes left in the first half. 

That’s not to say 2016 was perfect. Adams dropped two touchdown passes in a crucial late season matchup against Chicago. If he had held onto either, the Packers would most likely not have needed a last second field goal from Mason Crosby to seal a win.

Altogether, the Packers should be confident in Davante Adams heading into next season. After three seasons, he’s emerged as a consistent and reliable target for Aaron Rodgers.