|Photo: 24/7 Sports|
The Minnesota Vikings used their first fifth round pick (#170) to select South Florida WR Rodney Adams.
He missed the first part of camp at South Florida due to a misdiagnosed heart condition. Adams had five receiving touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns in 2016. In 2015, he had a 29.1-yard kickoff return average and one touchdown. On offense, he had 10 total touchdowns.
When asked to describe his skill-set, Adams said, "explosive receiver, a hard runner when he has the ball in his hands."
According to the NFL.com scouting report, Adams is a "competitive runner after the catch with a surprising burst. Shows some lateral escapability and a nasty spin move." He ran a 4.44 40-yard dash and has fantastic straight line speed. Adams only had a 29" vertical jump, which is significantly below average.
Adams had strong yardage after the catch, according to Matt Claassen at Pro Football Focus.
New @Vikings WR Rodney Adams averaged 9.8 yards after the catch in 2016, second-highest average in the nation among WRs with at least 50 rec— Matt Claassen (@PFF_Matt) April 29, 2017
He will be a player the Vikings place in situations similar to Cordarrelle Patterson. He can return kicks and will need to be used creatively on offense. Adams may have a chance to win the starting return job.
"I'm going to have to come in and compete for the [kick return] job," he said.
Adams sustained a high volume of injuries and had trouble staying on the field. It may be partially due to his slim frame at 189 pounds. However, if he can stay on the field, he has some play-making potential after the catch.
Off the field, Adams lost his mother in a fatal car accident in November of 2013 and he became legal guardian of his brother. It was a point in his life where the wide receiver learned how to be a man.
"I had to grow up and learn fast because my situation was bad," Adams said. "I was in a really low point in my life. I couldn't let my family down, I couldn't let my mom down, so I had to grow up and be a man early."