The Baltimore Ravens will certainly target a wide receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft. There will be plenty of options in this strong wide receiver class, and one intriguing option is Jonathan Adams Jr. of Arkansas State.
After a quiet freshman and sophomore season, Adams was productive in 2019 with 62 receptions for 851 yards and five touchdowns, but as a senior, he was one of the best receivers in college football. He had 79 receptions for 1,111 yards and 12 touchdowns. The only other wide receiver to record 75+ receptions, 1,100+ receiving yards, and 10+ touchdowns last season was DeVonta Smith.
Physically, Adams has all the tools to be an elite receiver. He is 6’3” and 220 pounds, which would bring some much-needed size to the Ravens’ depth chart. Adams briefly played college basketball, as well, and his vertical was 39 inches at his pro day.
Adams has great hands and body control, and he excels at making contested catches. As a result, he has made many highlight catches.
This one-handed catch was ultimately overturned on review, but it still was extremely impressive:
Insane catch by Arkansas State WR Jonathan Adams. Overturned on review but still amazing. pic.twitter.com/DwVDHXJr6q— Max Olson (@max_olson) September 12, 2020
Run blocking is important in the Ravens’ offense. Adams is a willing run-blocker. Against Appalachian State, he took out three defenders on a single play to open up a rushing touchdown:
He didn’t get in the end zone tonight, but Arkansas St. WR Jonathan Adams Jr. has been on fire this season. Finishing with 6 catches for 134 yards tonight, he’s up to 27 catches for 412 yards and 4 TDs over the past 3 games.— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) October 23, 2020
This block was excellent.pic.twitter.com/XHFXcO1TsI
The biggest question surrounding Adams is his level of competition playing in the Sun Belt. However, he played great in out-of-conference games. He had eight receptions for 98 yards and three touchdowns against Kansas State last season, and he had seven receptions for 85 yards against #3 Georgia in 2019. It also should be noted that Coastal Carolina finished the season as the fourteenth-ranked team in the AP Top 25, and Adams had 98 receiving yards against them.
Adams also does not have top-level speed. At his pro day, he ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash, but I do not believe that will a problem at the next level. Many elite NFL wide receivers actually recorded slower 40-yard dash times at the combine:
Michael Thomas- 4.57 seconds
Davante Adams- 4.56 seconds
More importantly, Adams was able to routinely beat defenders in the open field with the ball in hands, and he did not have trouble separating on deep routes.
Right now, Adams is projected to be a Day 3 pick in most mock drafts. At that point in the draft, he would be a great value pick; he has the upside to be a good starter in the NFL.