Fresno State Bulldogs wide receiver Davante Adams has been the top target of college football's No. 1 passing attack this season, and he is reportedly set to take his talents to the NFL level.
According to DraftInsider.net's Tony Pauline on Thursday, Adams will enter the 2014 NFL draft after hiring an agent:
I can confirm Davante Adams/WR/Fresno State has signed with an agent and will enter the 2014 NFL Draft..— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) December 27, 2013
Ralph D. Russo of the Associated Press confirmed the news:
Fresno State says WR Davante Adams will enter the NFL draft and pass on his final 2 seasons of eligibility as @schadjoe reported yesterday.— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) December 27, 2013
Now the fun part begins: projecting how a prolific wideout who leads the nation in receptions (131) and touchdown catches (24) will translate to the pros. First in this analysis is figuring out where Adams might be drafted in May.
Some receivers who put up such gaudy numbers are products of their offensive systems. In the spread-crazed era of college football that is engulfing the game today, it is possible for coaching, spacing and matchups to yield eye-popping numbers.
While some of those factors have aided Adams' efforts—along with a cannon-armed quarterback in Derek Carr—the junior has exceptional skills that suggest he will continue to flourish on the NFL gridiron.
NFL.com scouting expert Daniel Jeremiah compared him to San Diego Chargers' emerging rookie Keenan Allen:
Similar skill set to Keenan Allen MT @TonyPauline: I can confirm Davante Adams/WR/Fresno State will enter the 2014 NFL Draft.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) December 27, 2013
The former University of California standout fell to the third round of last year's draft but has come on for a respectable maiden campaign in San Diego.
Where should Davante Adams be selected in the 2014 NFL draft?
One recent comparison that comes to mind regarding Adams and Carr is the receiver-QB tandem from Oklahoma State that was selected in the first round of the 2012 draft: Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden.
However, Adams has none of the off-field issues that Blackmon—who is suspended indefinitely at the moment—has.
That puts him in ideal position to be drafted early. The bad news is the wide receiver class promises to be deep.
CBSSports.com's rankings list as many as eight receivers who might be chosen in Round 1, but Adams is a firm second-round grade and the 10th-rated prospect at his position. The outlet's Jeremy Fowler also reports that Adams is seeking to improve the third-round grade that he received from the NFL draft advisory board:
Fresno's Davante Adams is officially declaring for NFL draft, per source. Wants to improve third-round grade from NFL advisory board.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) December 27, 2013
If he lives up to the Allen comparison offered by Jeremiah, though, Adams will make several franchises regret passing on him if he is drafted later than expected.