Player Interviews

Jerell Adams Speaks on Antonio Gates, NFL Future


Even if Antonio Gates returns for a 14th season, there is a good chance three new tight ends will appear behind him on the depth chart. We profiled one veteran possibility earlier this week in Jacksonville mainstay Marcedes Lewis. Today, we highlight a draft-day option who has caught (and blocked) his way onto San Diego’s radar.

South Carolina TE Jerell Adams (6’5”, 244 lbs.) shined in front of Chargers scouts during Senior Bowl week, cementing his reputation as one of the best two-way tight ends in the draft.

As a receiver, he flashes the speed to split Cover 2 safeties and the strength and break tackles, averaging 6.9 yards after the catch. He caught 28 passes for 421 yards and three touchdowns as a senior, despite the fact the Gamecocks had one of the worst passing offenses in all the FBS.

As a blocker, Adams demonstrates strong hands and holds his blocks longer than you would expect from a player with his slight frame. He is especially experienced in pass protection, where his balance and quick feet are huge assets.

It was Adams’ blocking that stood out most during his time in Mobile, Ala. He dominated most one-on-one blocking assignments, at one point literally throwing a defender into a nearby trash can that was serving as the drill boundary.

Adams explained his Senior Bowl week objective: “To show that I am a good blocker and I can also run routes and catch the ball very well and have great speed.”

Adams is built similarly to current No. 2 tight end Ladarius Green. He is not as fast as Green, nor is he as natural as a pass catcher, but his superior blocking, toughness and consistency make him a better prospect.

For more on the curious case of Ladarius Green, click here.

Adams also shares a key similarity with Gates, a both men have a basketball background.

“Antonio Gates is a great guy … I’ve heard a lot about him,” Adams said. “Great hands, great size, good at blocking. He’s an all-around good guy.”

As far as comparisons go, Adams does not liken himself to either of San Diego’s incumbents.

“As far as looking up to any tight end, I really don’t try to compare myself to anyone,” he said. “I just try to be my own guy and set my own way.”

One place where Adams can pave his own path is on special teams. He is experienced in the game’s third phase and has a chance to be a difference-maker there early in his career.

“My freshman and sophomore years I played a little bit of field goal and kick return, and during my senior year I started playing some kickoff,” he said. “If [the Chargers] want me to play special teams I’m willing to do it. Whatever it takes, I’m willing to do it.”

The Chargers would likely have to take Adams at the top of the third round if they don’t want to risk missing out on him, although there is a chance he could slide to the top of Round Four.

Historically speaking, the Chargers like to find tight ends in the fourth round, as that is where they drafted Green (2012), Scott Chandler (2007) and Justin Peelle (2002).

To see what Justin Peelle is up to now, click here.

About Michael Lombardo

Michael Lombardo has covered the San Diego Chargers since 2003. He spent 12 years covering the team for and has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports, Football Insiders and MySpace Sports.

Recommended for you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *