Packers 'blessed' with successful rookie class
His first 100-yard game felt good, but stats alone weren't the only reason Green Bay Packers rookie receiver Davante Adams was happy Sunday.
More than numbers, Adams said he enjoyed playing a vital role in the Packers' win against the New England Patriots. Yes, he dropped a would-be touchdown in the fourth quarter -- missing a chance to seal the victory -- but Adams made plenty of big plays running past the Patriots' secondary and catching passes downfield.
He finished with 100 yards, but also showed why he's locked down the Packers' No. 3 receiver position.
"That's great, and it looks good on paper, but the most important thing is contributing and knowing where I stand in this offense," Adams said. "Just having a lot of fun and having games like last week. That's big for us."
Adams is part of a rookie class that has shaped up nicely this season.
First-round safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been everything the Packers hoped, locking down the starting job. Among safeties playing at least 75 percent of their defense's snaps, Clinton-Dix ranks fourth in the NFL with 12 catches allowed and eighth with 135 yards allowed, according to Pro Football Focus. He's one of eight safeties to not allow a touchdown this season.
Clinton-Dix's 37 yards allowed after the catch are second in the league behind only Seattle Seahawks All-Pro safety Earl Thomas.
Along with Adams, a handful of rookies have made an impact on offense. Fifth-round center Corey Linsley has started each game this season and allowed only one sack. Third-round tight end Richard Rodgers has caught touchdown passes the past two weeks.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he's proud of each rookie contributor.
"We're blessed with our rookie class of guys who are really gym rats, students of the game," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Thursday. "Guys who put in the time and prepare well."
-- firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood