The 2016 NFL Draft has surprises around every corner for NFL owners and fantasy players alike. One of those could be former South Carolina’s tight end Jerell Adams. If you just look at his college statistics, there isn’t much to see: less than 70 receptions, seven total touchdowns, and under a thousand yards in four years of college production. I decided to take a closer look watching his game against Missouri, and Senior Bowl (game and practices) along with several youtube.com highlights of his biggest plays to get a better idea of the skills and attributes Adams can bring to the next level. This is what intrigued me:
TE-Jerell Adams, South Carolina 6′ 5″ 247 lbs.
Cons: His limited college production stands out as his senior season numbers: 28 receptions, 421 yards, and three touchdowns are not outstanding at face value. If Adams was a great athlete, why wasn’t he used more? Some of that is due to South Carolina’s wide out Pharoh Cooper, the three quarterbacks rotated in during the season, and their deployment of four different running backs in the Gamecock attack. Adams is not a very fluid athlete, struggles sinking his hips, runs at one speed, and looks quite stiff coming in and out of his breaks. He needs to run cleaner routes and is not overly explosive. While he has the size to become an NFL player, the tight end will need to get bigger and stronger to play an inline role as he is an underdeveloped blocker right now.
Pros: It is evident when you watch his highlight plays that the former Gamecock was a power forward in high school. He does a great job boxing defenders out (fighting for the ball in the air) while high-pointing the ball with his soft hands. For a tight end, he had a fantastic NFL Combine performance with a 4.64 40-yard dash, a 4.31 second 20 yard shuttle, and a 11.52 60-yard shuttle (they were all tops in his class). These show his quickness, despite him being more of a long strider. Adams is dangerous with the ball in his hands as he uses spin moves and jukes to create separation in the open field and occasionally just bounces off would-be tacklers. He tracks the ball well in the air, has a good catch radius, and makes receptions in stride. Two of his three senior touchdowns went for 33 yards or more. Best of all the senior doesn’t give up on plays; I watched him run down a blocked kick return 50 yards down the field.
Overall impressions: Adams is one of my top three rookie tights, but that doesn’t mean I would select him any earlier than the third round in a tight end premium league. He looks to be more of a role player or a move aka joker tight end who lines up in the slot or away from the line due to his size limitations and power. The tight end may carve out a red zone role early on, but will take a year or two to become an NFL starter.
Thanks for reading!
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