Davante Adams, Wide Receiver
Picking a breakout player on an offense with as little player turnover as the Green Bay Packers is pretty hard. Especially when Jordy Nelson is making his comeback into the squad after missing all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Adams was supposed to be the breakout player last year, picking up the slack in the offense left by Nelson’s absence. Instead he struggled along to basically the same season totals he had in 2014, but at worse rates. A 53% catch rate (down from 58%), 9.7 yards per catch (down from 11.7) and only 1 touchdown compared to 3 – it was a truly poor 2015 from Adams. But with a locked down offensive line and full backfield there is very little space for a player to work his way in and produce. 2016 will be Adams’ third season in the NFL and quite probably his last crack with the Green Bay Packers.
It’s not like Adams is untalented. He had 233 catches for 3,031 yards and 38 touchdowns in his two seasons at Fresno State, and while the level of competition was not particularly impressive it was a good example of what his physical and technical tools can achieve. Across the entirety of the Packers offense last year there seemed to be an element of pushing too hard, trying to force production rather than letting the talent shine. Aaron Rodgers has said as much in interviews as we hit camp this year, as has HC Mike McCarthy. With Nelson back and players in more familiar roles with less burdens, this could be an opportunity for Adams, and indeed for Randall Cobb, to showcase that talents. For Adams it is a make or break year, he has to generate some production this season and stamp himself at least on a game or two or he could drift out of the NFL all together, never mind the Green Bay Packers.