Finding a bigger wideout imperative for Arizona Cardinals
With Larry Fitzgerald’s imminent retirement, and Michael Floyd’s release, the Arizona Cardinals could use some size at the wide receiver position
Arizona Cardinals’ general manager Steve Keim has shown a knack for finding wide receiver talent. In particular, he’s done well acquiring wideouts that are on the smallish side.
However, circumstances have dictated a need for the club to seek out a pass-catcher with some size. Larry Fitzgerald retiring at the end of the year appears to be a foregone conclusion. Michael Floyd was big and strong, but was jettisoned after a DUI arrest last December.
Jaron Brown fits the bill at 6’2″, 205, but will be returning from a torn ACL. The only offseason move made at receiver was the announcement that Andre Ellington has become one. But though he has good hands and speed, size is something Ellington doesn’t offer at just 5’9″, 199.
So now Keim will look to this month’s NFL Draft. There’s a good chance the Cards will select a wideout with one of their eight picks. What round they do it in is the question.
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If the gem of the receiver class, Clemson’s Mike Williams, is available at the 13th overall pick, Keim will have to be tempted. At 6’3″, 225, Williams is a Fitzgerald clone in some ways. While he’s not blessed with blazing speed, his ability to use his size and strength to come down with jump-balls is extraordinary.
Corey Davis of Western Michigan is also 6’3″, but at 213 pounds is lighter than Williams. He’s faster, however, and possesses extremely strong mitts. While he may not be as strong as some of his peers, he would provide Arizona with a big target.
Eastern Washington’s Copper Kupp provides good height at 6’2″, but at 198 pounds is a bit on the lanky side. He’s not overly fast, so he’d project as a possession receiver in the NFL. His toughness and tenacity allows him to win battles for the ball with defensive backs.
Amara Darboh of Michigan may be the best mixture of size and speed in the Draft. He’s big at 6’2″, 216, and runs a 4.48 forty-yard dash. Making the tough catch is a forte of his.
East Carolina’s Zay Jones stands 6’2″, and weighs 202 pounds. He’s reportedly possesses an excellent football IQ, which he uses to his advantage on the field. He did play in a system that allowed him to operate frequently in open space, so he could potentially struggle to get separation.
Juju Smith-Schuster (6’2″, 220) of USC is a physical talent with a good work ethic. He’s also tough, as evidenced by his performance last season against the University of Arizona. He caught eight passes for 138 yards and a score just five days after having hand surgery.