Getting to Know Your Newest Cardinal: Early Doucet

In the third round, the Cardinals took Early Doucet with the 81st overall pick. The Louisiana State product is an interesting prospect mainly because of how much his draft stock fluctuated over the past year. His senior season would be his first year as a starter, after several years playing behind first round picks, Dwayne Bowe (KC) and Craig Davis (SD). Doucet got off to a quick start with 15 receptions in his first two games but a groin injury caused him to miss the next four games entirely and got just minimal playing time in a fifth. In the end Doucet’s numbers were a touch below his junior year totals.

 

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The biggest concern in the stats from his senior year is that his yards per catch dropped so low. If anything, that’s proof that his groin plagued him throughout the entire year. During his first two gains, his 15 receptions went for an average of 10.2 yards per reception. After missing 5 games and getting over a month of rest, he had two really good games averaging 13.3 yards per reception on 12 receptions. As the season wore on though his yards per reception really fell off and over the final 5 games he averaged just over 7 yards per reception. Doucet’s groin still wasn’t completely healed by the Combine, preventing him from working out. He was able to run at LSU’s pro day though and his forty (4.6) and vertical (34.5) didn’t produce eye popping numbers but with more time to heal and train, he’ll only be faster and more explosive.

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Positives: Doucet’s a versatile receiver who was used on both return units and also carried the ball and completed a pass during his time as LSU. He’s a tough runner after the catch and will routinely fight for extra yards. He does a good job of adjusting to the ball in flight and will go over the middle and make the tough catches. He’s got a good initial burst and is a willing, aggressive blocker

Negatives: Everyone recognizes the he doesn’t have elite speed and lacks a second gear to be a legit deep threat. At times he’ll round of his routes instead of making quick defined cuts and will drop the occasional pass when he tries to run before securing the ball. He also has the label of being a ‘talker’ on the field and he’ll have to contain him self at the professional level.

The bottom line is that Doucet has question marks and I wouldn’t have liked this pick if it had been in the second round but in the third he is a really good value pick. He’s got the athletic ability to have a long career in this league and when he’s healthy he can help a team in several different areas. 

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