Speedy wide receiver Damiere Byrd is aiming to overcome the odds and cement a permanent spot on the Arizona Cardinals’ roster
There will be some intriguing battles taking place down at Arizona Cardinals’ training camp this summer. Roster spots and starting gigs alike will be up for grabs, and the competition is expected to be fierce. The wide receiver position, in particular, will garner a whole lot of the new coaching staff’s attention.
Damiere Byrd, a free agent pickup of the Cards back in March, is just one of 11 pass-catchers who’ll be attempting to impress the coaches. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury‘s offensive scheme appears to be tailor-made for the former Carolina Panther. It’s a system that seems to prefer speed over size, so a player like Byrd could conceivably fit in quite nicely.
But while all of that is true, the overabundance of receivers that Arizona will be taking to camp will present a challenge for the 26-year old. Returning veterans Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk obviously have two of the spots sewn up. Rookies such as Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler and KeeSean Johnson, each of whom were drafted this past April, are likely shoo-ins for the team as well.
Kevin White, another free agent acquisition of the Cardinals this offseason, is also in the mix. The former Chicago Bear, who was drafted seventh-overall back in 2015, is looking to revitalize his career in the desert. Pharoh Cooper doesn’t have huge pass-catching numbers on his resume, but his kickoff and punt-return skills could ultimately land him a gig with the Cards.
Chad Williams was a third-round selection of the organization in 2017, but has totaled just 20 receptions in two seasons. Trent Sherfield, an undrafted free agent in 2018, showed promise as a rookie. A.J. Richardson, an undrafted free agent this year, will also be trying to turn some heads.
Byrd entered the NFL in 2015 as an undrafted free agent of the Panthers. The former University of South Carolina product’s best campaign was in ’17, when he turned two of his ten catches into touchdowns. Byrd also returned a kickoff 103 yards for another score.
The New Jersey native was considered the fastest player on the squad during his days at South Carolina. Byrd was timed at an eye-popping 4.28 seconds during the 40-yard dash he ran at his pre-draft pro day.
Cementing a position on Arizona’s final roster will not be an easy task for Byrd. An ability to run like the wind certainly works in his favor, however. Perhaps Kingsbury will decide that he can put that blazing speed to use in 2019.