For the pick received from trading Josh Rosen, the Arizona Cardinals select Andy Isabella, a slot receiver with speed to boot.
Perhaps no prospect fits the mold of an inside receiver for Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid than former UMass star Andy Isabella. The Arizona Cardinals secured his coveted talents with the very pick that was acquired from the Dolphins (No. 62) for Josh Rosen.
At the combine, the Massachusetts receiver ran the fastest 40-yard-dash time for a receiver (4.31 seconds), which, in turn, continued to build up his draft hype. Due to that speed, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Isabella was a track star and even beat Browns’ cornerback Denzel Ward in high school.
At 5-foot-9, 188-pounds, Isabella is the furthest thing from a physically intimidating player. But, he makes up for the lack of size with a game built to easily translate to the next level. The UMass product not only has the speed to burn, but he also has the agility, quickness, and creativeness to be a menace after the catch. Per Pro Football Focus, Isabella had 1,489 of his 3,520 college receiving yards after the catch.
As more of a body-catcher, Isabella relies on his separation to succeed. Luckily, he does just that, very, very well. He has creative press-beating techniques and is an explosive route-runner. He takes hard angles with his breaks and supplements with explosive burst, which, in turn, make an excellent horizontal route-runner.
Due to his size, Isabella is a slot receiver through-and-through. But, he’s not a typical, horizontal slot receiver. The UMass product is actually more developed in vertical route running than horizontal. He has excellent top-end speed and takes explosive breaks on his vertical routes. Per PFF, the receiver was second in the class in 2018 for the position in deep yards (705) and 11th in deep pass receptions (14).
It’s no secret as to why the Cardinals opted to add Isabella over other receivers. His speed, route-running, and running with the ball in his hands are all excellent fits for the Air Raid offense that prioritizes all three of the things. Although he won’t be their outside receiver of the future, Kingsbury got the ultimate chess piece for his now sped-up offense.
For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, subscribe
to PFF’s EDGE or ELITE subscriptions at ProFootballFocus.com.