I’m sure everyone knows Adams is one of, if not the best receiver in the NFL and should make a huge impact on the Raiders’ offense. But I reached out to Jon Meerdink of Acme Packing Company to give Raider Nation a more detailed idea of what Adams will bring to Las Vegas.
1) Now that the full details of the trade, contract extension and the reports about Adams wanting to play for the Raiders are out, what are your — and the Packers fanbase/owners’ — thoughts on the transaction?
I have zero issues with it other than the obvious hole that Adams’ departure leaves in the Packers’ offense and the disappointment that comes with not being able to watch a great player play for my team anymore. If Adams wanted out and was never going to come back to the Packers no matter what they offered, they had a responsibility to themselves to get a deal done. They did that and got a good return in the process.
2) Ever since the Henry Ruggs tragedy, the Raiders’ offense has been missing a receiver that can stretch the field. How well do you think Adams can fill that void, and how would you rate him as a deep threat?
Adams is very interesting as a deep threat for reasons that I think you’ll have fun discovering. He’s a bit of a conundrum: he produces big plays down the field despite — and I’m being pretty charitable here — not having incredible speed.
Adams has never been a track star, but he makes his money on what a basketball player would call the midrange game. Adams’ incredible footwork at the line of scrimmage all but guarantees him a free release, and his advanced understanding of NFL defenses lets him find the soft spots from there. Adams will seem to just always be open from 12 to 16 yards down the field or so, and from there he’ll regularly make a man miss and rupture a medium game into a truly big play.
He’s not the burner that Ruggs was, but he’ll make plenty of big plays, and he’ll force teams to devote safety coverage to him over a corner just to protect against those monstrous catch-and-run plays.
3) Another troublesome area for Las Vegas’ offense over the last few years has been in the red zone. It became frustrating that they could move the ball between the 20s so well but then run out of steam and settle for field goals. Can you give Raider Nation some insight into what their new wideout brings in the scoring area?
Here again, Adams is a very interesting — and different — player. The general profile of an NFL red zone threat typically doesn’t look like Davante Adams. Think of the stereotypical red zone receiver and you’re probably imagining someone like Adams’ Green Bay colleague Allen Lazard — a hulking 6-foot-5, 230-pound monster that will bully people out of the way for touchdowns.
But Adams has no problem finding separation near the goal line either, and he’ll have success in Las Vegas, too. Packers’ film guru Dusty Evely recently posted one of the best examples of how to utilize Adams in that part of the field: isolate him however you can, then let him cook the guy in front of him in front of God and everybody.
Packers inside the 5 showing a heavy look & the Bears pack the line. Adams is the lone wideout, and he is WIDE; Packers on the left hash & Adams aligned outside the right numbers. Gives him an iso one-on-one.— Dusty (@DustyEvely) March 23, 2022
Fake the fade, get the CB flipped, then cut it back inside. COLD move. pic.twitter.com/uaDknS2C4E
Any corner who finds himself in that situation ought to be imitating Ralph Wiggum.
4) Derek Carr has drawn some comparisons to Aaron Rodgers in the past. While the four-time MVP is certainly the better player, what similarities can you see between the Rodgers to Adams connection that will transfer over to the desert? And what differences do you see?
I think Carr will benefit from his existing connection to Adams. Adams and Rodgers have thrived on a preternatural connection fostered by years of working closely together, and Carr should enjoy something similar given his relationship with Adams. Sure, it’s been nearly a decade since they were together, but they should rebuild their chemistry quickly. Adams should be open often enough that Carr should never lack opportunities to throw to him, and that always goes a long way toward building a quarterback/receiver partnership.
Carr might struggle to take advantage of some of Adams’ tight-window precision, though. Though I can’t claim to be an expert on his game, he doesn’t seem to have the arm that Rodgers does, and Rodgers frequently made use of his arm strength and laser-precise throws to connect with Adams on the sideline.
A regular Cover 2 beater for the Packers featured Adams creating just a sliver of separation with a quick release to the outside while Rodgers rifled the ball past a corner’s earhole. Adams would flash his trademark “late hands” and snatch the pass before the cornerback could even react. I don’t know if Carr has the tools to duplicate that. If he can, it’ll be just another thing Adams can unlock for the Raiders.
5) Off the field, what can Raider fans expect from Adams? He’s come across very well so far, as a down-to-earth and genuine person.
Adams is all that and more. His growth and maturation have been some of my favorite things to watch since the Packers acquired him through the draft in 2014.
As a second-round pick, Adams enjoyed a very good rookie season but drew the ire of many Packers fans with a dismal 2015. It sounds crazy to say now, but Adams really struggled with drops that year, and amidst an overall bad season for the Packers, he became one of the focal points of fan frustrations.
Adams handled that (and some injuries that year) with grace and grit, and built off that frustrating year to emerge as the Packers’ top receiving threat in 2016. Since then, he’s grown into a vocal leader in Green Bay; he’s never lacking a great quote and is thoughtful about the NFL as a whole and his place within it. He’s a true gem. You’re lucky to have him.