GREEN BAY, Wis. – Now that Davante Adams has been drafted by the Packers, the prolific receiver will have to settle for quality over quantity.
Having Aaron Rodgers throwing passes his way will be a nice consolation prize, though.
With the top tight ends snapped up, Green Bay went with the Fresno State standout in the second round Friday night with the 53rd overall pick to fortify a receiving corps that lost James Jones to free agency.
Adams had 131 catches for 1,718 yards and 24 touchdowns last year in Fresno State’s high-octane offense run by quarterback Derek Carr, himself selected in the second round by the Raiders.
Now, Adams will be learning at the next level from the 2011 NL MVP.
“I couldn’t imagine being in a better place,” Adams said.
He joins a Packers receiving corps led by Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Jarrett Boykin also emerged last year as a target after Cobb got hurt.
Say goodbye for now to 100-catch seasons. Still, Adams’ confidence remained high on the most momentous day yet of his young career.
“I feel like I’m one of the best playmakers in the draft, being able to catch the ball deep, or being able to catch on short routes,” he said. “I feel like I’m one of the best red-zone threats in the draft.”
The Packers might feel good given their recent success in the second with receivers, including Nelson (2008), Cobb (2011) and former wideout Greg Jennings.
Tight end may have been a more pressing need for Green Bay, but there was a run on that position earlier in the second round. Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins went early in the round to the Buccaneers. Texas Tech’s Jace Amaro went to the Jets and the Cardinals took Troy Niklas a pick before the Packers went.
In the third round, Green Bay beefed up their defensive line by drafting Khyri Thortnon, a three-year starter at Southern Mississippi.
The 6-foot-3, 304-pound Thornton had 39 tackles in 11 games in 2013. The senior finished his career with 116 tackles and 5.5 sacks. An NFL.com analysis said Thornton plays with a motor, and can play inside but also along the line of scrimmage.
The Packers in the offseason re-signed veteran B.J. Raji and signed ex-Vikings tackle Letroy Guion in free agency. Coach Mike McCarthy hoped to add impact players to the defense.
Green Bay drafted Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round Thursday.
Tight end remains a need for the Packers with the health of free agent tight end Jermichael Finley, who suffered a season-ending spinal cord injury last season, still in question, The Packers did re-sign Andrew Quarless at tight end.
The 6-foot Adams should certainly help coach Mike McCarthy. Adams averaged 116 yards receiving per game, eighth-best in NCAA history. The third-year sophomore doesn’t turn 22 until December.
In just two years at Fresno State, Adams had 233 catches for 3,030 yards and 38 scores. An NFL.com scouting report listed Adams as having the top vertical jump for receivers at the scouting combine at 39.5 inches.
“You love how he’s a competitor,” Packers receivers coach Edgar Bennett said. “Catching ability, good hands, makes the tough catch and goes up and catches the football. Extremely productive.”