Is Davante Adams a True Number One Receiver?

This should come as a shock to no one, but sports media chooses to fill a lot of airtime and print space with silly questions.

The most inane of these questions often center around utterly meaningless distinctions over a player’s skills as they relate to a mythical ideal. Is a quarterback a game manager? Is a ball carrier just a runner or is he a bell cow back? These are the questions that truly define the game, reserved for only the greatest thinkers among us.

But my favorite among these extraordinarily ridiculous questions is this: is a player a true number one receiver? This question presupposes not only that there is some added meaning to being the top receiver on a given team’s depth chart, but that there are some players in that position who are impostors. It’s the “No True Scotsman” fallacy in cleats, and it’s apparently on the minds of beat writers and bloggers alike throughout the NFL.

Davante Adams gets paid like a “true” number one receiver, but is he one?

In Green Bay, Davante Adams has been both the source of and answer to questions about true number one receivers. In April, he wasn’t a true number one receiver (according to some), but a month later he’s been promoted so convincingly that others are asking if the Packers actually have a true...number two receiver.

This question is really only a question if you decide it’s going to be one, though. Adams has been the Packers’ top receiver for two years now, and the top brass thought enough of him that he got a rich extension in the midst of a season in which he missed two games due to serious concussions, to say nothing of his performance last season without Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball.

But let’s not leave it at saying nothing. Even with less than half a season of work with Rodgers, Adams finished 16th in the league in targets, scored 10 touchdowns, and nearly topped 1000 yards. Over the past two seasons, Adams is in the top 20 in the NFL in both yards and targets and ranks first in receiving touchdowns. That’s number one material, full stop.

As very handsome, talented, foresighted bloggers have pointed out in the distant past, any debate over Adams’ status as a “true number one receiver” is contrived and stupid and should be roundly dismissed.