Ryan Swope broke records at Texas A&M with Ryan Tannehill and Johnny Manziel as his quarterbacks. He ran a 4.34 at the combine and was projected to be a 3rd round pick in the draft. After watching some highlight tapes of Swope I was very impressed.
Swope all the tools to succeed in the NFL. He has the speed, great route runner, and some very soft hands. The only thing Swope is missing, and it’s not his fault is height. With other short receivers like Wes Welker, Victor Cruz, and Danny Amendola being key contributors to their team its opened the door for players like Swope.
In college, Swope knew how to separate from defenders in man coverage and how to find the hole in zone defenses. From the highlight tape I saw most of his catches were wide open, but he also made the catches in traffic. In the NFL its much tougher to get separation which shouldn’t give Swope that much of a problem because of his great hands. Also the most impressive thing to me was how fast he moved in and out of cuts his burst is incredible. If you watch their game against the national champions this past year, you can see how he lit up one of the best defenses in the nation.
One big concern of Swope is injuries. He suffered three concussions in college, but never missed a game. The reason for his concussions are because of the way he plays. He plays with a fearless attitude, always going for that extra yard. He isn’t afraid to put his head down and run you over. Which is the type of player the Arizona Cardinals love and had no problem spending a sixth-round pick on him.
I believe Swope has the talent to become a elite wide receiver, but it will be very tough for him to do that because you have to be on the field and have the ball thrown to you to become elite. With an already elite wide out on the team in Larry Fitzgerald the ball will be thrown to him quite a bit. Then the number two, Michael Floyd who I believe will have a breakout season and step into that elite conversation after this year will get his fair share.
Plus, Robert Housler and Andre Roberts I just don’t think there will be enough balls to go around for everyone. Swope has a uphill battle to climb, and not everyone can play. It’s comfortable for the Cardinals to have such quality depth at that position, but it’s tougher on the players.
This receiving corps can be scary, and if Carson Palmer does his part and the line blocks they could be as good as the best receiving corps in the league. They could be similar to the Atlanta Falcons’ three-headed monster much like the Cardinals used to have in Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston. Don’t be surprised if three receivers reach the 1,000 yard mark this year I believe it will happen.
While I believe Swope has the tools to be elite, it will be tough for him to get a lot of playing time unless injuries occur. I see Swope averaging 45 receptions, five touchdowns and 600 yards throughout his career, which is a solid but not considered elite. Hopefully for the Cardinals, he proves me wrong and just earns his playing time to become elite.