Larry Fitzgerald is a legend in Arizona. However, now is the time to draft the heir apparent. Especially with a deep class of receivers in 2020.
Everything in life has its expiration date. For Peyton Manning, the career ended as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos. For Joe Montana, it was in Kansas City. For Jerry Rice, it was in Seattle. For Larry Fitzgerald, it should be in Arizona for the Cardinals.
The 2020 NFL Draft is deep with receiver talent. The Cardinals, already boasting a young quarterback like Kyler Murray, would do well to take a long look at the pass-catchers available in the first round and consider a Fitzgerald-less future. As tough and even sacrilege as fans might see that drafting for the future is better to do sooner rather than later.
Fitzgerald, who is 36 years old and will turn 37 on August 31, knows his spot is secure in Arizona. He also knows he’s the right guy to mentor young talent. With DeAndre Hopkins already in the wings, the Cardinals should strike while the iron is hot, and draft one of the top-flight receivers available when Arizona selects with the eighth pick.
It will be worth remembering on draft night that the Cardinals are in a division that will provide some opportunities in 2020, so they can be aggressive in this draft. Whether it’s trading back to possibly score a second-round pick, or being bold and drafting a receiver like CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs III, or Jerry Jeudy, the time is now. Fitzgerald, who is nearing the end, isn’t a player Arizona is building around. Being the veteran he is, he knows that. He also knows that his successor is in this draft.
The Cardinals should absolutely consider any of those day-one starters should the opportunity presents itself. With so much talent available, waiting until later in the draft would be a mistake. For Arizona to have any hope of keeping pace with a team like the San Francisco 49ers or Seattle, being bold with the eighth pick is critical.