Sports

Palo Alto grad Adams waiting for phone call on draft day

Palo Alto High grad Davante Adams has faced all kinds of coverages during his brief two-year college football career at Fresno State. The talented wide receiver has seen both single and double coverage, overcoming both to become one of the top pass catchers in the country.

That brings Adams to a different kind of coverage -- the potential media blitz also known as the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday at Radio City Music Hall in New York City with the first round (5 p.m., ESPN). The second and third rounds will be Friday (4 p.m., ESPN2).

By the time Rounds 4 through 7 begin on Saturday (9 a.m., ESPN), Adams should be wearing the hat of his new NFL team.

Adams declared early after his redshirt sophomore season for the NFL Draft, becoming the first Fresno State player to do so since Jamel Hamler declared early before the 2011 draft. After leading the nation in receptions (131) and touchdown catches (24) and a school-record 1,718 receiving yards in 2013, he reportedly has increased his stock since then with strong showings at the combine, pro day and in private workouts with teams.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock is high on Adams, who had 102 catches for 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns his freshman year.

"He is a guy that's really moving up a lot of boards," Mayock said last week, also on a media conference call previewing the draft.

The 6-foot-1, 212-pound Adams has been projected -- by the Los Angeles Times in its mock draft -- to go in the first round (28th pick) to the Carolina Panthers.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated, however, doesn't have Adams in the first round at all. In fact, King has seven wide receivers being picked on the first day with Sammy Watkins of Clemson going as high as No. 3 to Jacksonville. King also has the 49ers selecting Cody Latimer of Indiana with the 30th pick.

When asked by College Football 24/7 on where he stands on the draft, Adams said bluntly: "I feel like I'm the best receiver in this draft. Obviously, that isn't to take anything away from the other guys, because there's a lot of talent in this draft at the receiver position. But I'm the best playmaker. There's different people that look at things different ways, but I know I definitely should be among the top three receivers taken . . . I think what sets people apart is how much they get into the end zone and how much they can do for their team."

Adams plans on spending draft day at his home in Palo Alto with "the family, probably 10 to 15 people . . . just waiting for the call."

And when he signs his first pro contract? Adams told College Football 24/7 about his first big purchase.

"Probably a car -- a Porsche Panamera -- and getting my parents a nice place to live," Adams replied. "And I'm going to worry about their cars and getting them other stuff after that."

At Stanford, 14 former Cardinal players will await to hear their names called at the 2014 NFL Draft. All 14 draft-eligible players have either already graduated or are on pace to graduate from Stanford this spring.

They can only hope to follow in the footsteps of former Stanford cornerback Richard Sherman, who on Wednesday was reported by NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport to have signed a four-year extension with the Seattle Seahawks for $57.4 million, with $40 million being guaranteed. That would make the All-Pro the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL.

Stanford head coach David Shaw will return as a guest analyst for the draft on NFL Network for a third consecutive year. On Friday, Shaw will be on-air from 2:30-3 p.m. alongside host Chris Rose, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, and Charles Davis. At 4 p.m., Shaw joins Draft Xtra on NFL.com with hosts Bucky Brooks and Elliott Harrison.

Stanford has seen 14 players drafted over the past four years, and while coming off four consecutive BCS bowl appearances this year's talent-laden draft class is arguably the deepest in program history.

Last year saw a pair of tight ends in Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo drafted while Stanford's all-time leading rusher, Stepfan Taylor, was also selected. Additionally, six players were signed as undrafted free agents following the 2013 draft.

Stanford draft facts

In 2012, Andrew Luck became the fourth Stanford quarterback to be selected as the first overall pick (Indianapolis) in the NFL Draft, joining Bobby Garrett (1954 - Cleveland), Jim Plunkett (1971 - New England) and John Elway (1983 - Baltimore).

Stanford is the only school with four quarterbacks selected first overall in the NFL Draft.

Stanford has produced 20 first-round selections since 1936.

Joining Luck in the 2012 first round was guard David DeCastro, drafted 24th overall by Pittsburgh, the first interior offensive lineman taken.

Total of four Cardinal players were drafted in 2012 with Coby Fleener (2nd/44th/Indianapolis) becoming the first tight end selected in the draft as the second pick of the second round. Tackle Jonathan Martin (2nd/42nd/Miami) was the 10th pick of the second round. Collectively, it was the earliest that any four Stanford draft picks have been selected.

Stanford has never had more than two players selected in the first round. The last time Stanford had two first round selections was in 1992, when offensive tackle Bob Whitfield (Atlanta) and fullback "Touchdown" Tommy Vardell (Cleveland) were selected with the eighth and ninth picks, respectively. Whitfield's son, Kodi, is currently a defensive back on the Cardinal team.

Prior to 2012, Stanford's last first round pick was offensive tackle Kwame Harris (San Francisco) in 2003.

Stanford has had two players drafted in the first round on four occasions. In addition to Whitfield and Vardell in 1992, defensive tackle Greg Sampson (Houston) and linebacker Jeff Siemon (Minnesota) were both selected in the first round in the 1972 draft, while wide receiver James Lofton (Green Bay) and offensive tackle Gordon King (New York Giants) were selected in the first round of the 1978 draft. In 1942, running back Pete Kmetovic went third overall to Philadelphia while quarterback Frankie Albert went 10th overall to Chicago.

After not having any players selected in either the 2008 or 2009 NFL Drafts, Stanford has had 11 players drafted in the past three years; three in 2010 -- running back Toby Gerhart (2nd/Minnesota), defensive end Erik Lorig (7th/Tampa Bay) and tight end Jim Dray (7th/Arizona); four in 2011 -- nose guard Sione Fua (3rd/Carolina), fullback Owen Marecic (4th/Cleveland), cornerback Richard Sherman (5th/Seattle) and wide receiver Ryan Whalen (6th/Cincinnati).

The last time Stanford had more than four players drafted was in 2005, when the Cardinal had six players selected. Stanford also had six players drafted in 1944, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1985, 2002 and an all-time high of seven players who were selected in the 1936 draft.

Stanford has seen 213 former players play in the NFL.

Stanford has 29 former players either on active NFL rosters or who finished the 2013-14 season with a team.

Stanford players awaiting a call this weekend from NFL teams include:

Devon Carrington, Kevin Danser, Cameron Fleming, Tyler Gaffney, Ben Gardner, Ryan Hewitt, Jarek Lancaster, Josh Mauro, Trent Murphy, Ed Reynolds, Shayne Skov, Anthony Wilkerson, Khalil Wilkes, and David Yankey.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kindel Launer
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 7, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Congratulations to Davante and his family - this young person has worked tirelessly to achieve this level of success. I wish him all the best. It was a thrill to watch him play through CCS titles all the way to the California State Championship game in LA. Proud to be a Viking right now - Kindel Launer, Palo Alto HIgh School.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by former paly parent
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 10, 2014 at 8:37 am

Congrats to the Packers for drafting Davante! Round 2, Pick 21. He's a nice, hard working young man and will be a great addition to your team!


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