There are some that are wondering if Michael Floyd is turning into a bust of a player, but this contention is ridiculous. When the Cardinals made Michael Floyd the 13th overall selection in the 2012 NFL draft, they expected him to take the place of the departed Anquan Boldin opposite Larry Fitzgerald. These were some really big shoes to fill for a rookie, but the Cardinals were confident Floyd would help them compete. Unfortunately, the Cardinals failed to get capable men to throw the ball to their wide receivers, so it was hard for Floyd to produce last year.
The additions of Carson Palmer at quarterback and Bruce Arians as head coach are the biggest reasons for optimism regarding the Cardinals offense this upcoming season. It didn’t matter who was throwing the ball for the Cardinals last year, they weren’t able to get the ball in the hands of their playmakers and being a rookie, Floyd’s growth was stunted to begin the season. His season was the tale of two halves; Floyd hauled in eight catches for 91 yards and one touchdown in the first half of last year. In the second half, Floyd had 37 catches for 471 yards and one touchdown, including a 166 yard, one touchdown performance in the last game of the season against division rival San Francisco.
Of course one of the biggest factors in Floyd’s success is learning from his mentor, and future hall of famer, Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is one of the hardest working players in the NFL, and Floyd couldn’t ask for a better player to learn his craft from. Having Fitzgerald next to him has helped relieve some of the pressure that comes with being a first round pick. Fitzgerald will attract double coverage most of the time, freeing Floyd up to use his speed and height to win one-on-one battles with smaller cornerbacks, and if Floyd can have a decent second half last season with inaccurate passers throwing him the ball, he should be able to have a breakout year with Palmer throwing him the ball. Look for Floyd to top 1,100 yards and 7 touchdowns this year.