Top 10 Player Countdown: #1 Larry Fitzgerald


May 14, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) catches the ball during organized team activities at the Cardinals Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no doubt about it: Larry Fitzgerald is the best player on the Arizona Cardinals roster.

He is arguably the best receiver in the NFL right now, at least when he has good quarterback play to work with. His talent is clear, and the Oakland Raiders and perhaps the San Diego Chargers regret passing on him in the 2004 NFL draft.

Larry Fitzgerald is a great receiver for the same reason that Antonio Gates is a great tight end and Adrian Peterson is a great running back. They all have a common factor, which is that they are versatile and all-around players.

Fitzgerald has great hands, which is obviously a good skill to have as a receiver.  Cris Carter, who is known for his amazing one-handed catches, even remarked that Fitzgerald is the only current player with hands like his. He also has the physical skills necessary to get yards after the catch and is great at run-blocking. Fitzgerald has the ability to do just about anything that needs to be done, which is what makes him the great player that he is.

Fitzgerald has an impressive career resume, including seven Pro Bowls, four All-Pro selections, and what is probably the greatest postseason performance by a receiver in history. In the Cardinals 2008 playoff run that culminated in an NFC championship, he broke the record for receptions (30) touchdown (seven) and reviving yards (548).

He also holds a record for being the youngest player to reach 700 career receptions.

Fitzgerald’s skills on the field are matched only by his exemplary patience and humility. He dealt with a very frustrating season in 2012, but he maintained his professionalism throughout. He always stays out of making decisions that he feels he shouldn’t be making, which is an admirable quality.

Larry Fitzgerald is a great player and a great person, and it shows on and off the field. There’s no question that #11 is more than deserving of the #1 spot on our countdown.