Since we threw some gloom and doom at you this morning with the Arizona Cardinals' tight ends, it only makes sense to follow them up with the most promising position group on the Card's roster and possibly even the entire NFL. The Cardinals wide receivers boast six Pro Bowl appearances, one All Pro team, eight 1,000 yard seasons and four seasons with at least 100 receptions and they've accomplished all of that before the age of thirty. Last season the Cardinals had three receivers with at least a 1,000 yards and two receivers with double digit touchdowns and there's very little reason to think that they can't be even better in 2009. Having such a talented and accomplished group at the top of the depth chart makes it hard for the younger guys to move up the totem pole but we'll look at the entire group and try to project who makes the cut.
On the Bubble
The top three (Fitz, Q and Boobs) are a given. Doucet is a lock in my book because at the very worst he's the #5 wide out again this year and he's only active for games in which someone else is injured. Urban, who could very well be the #4 WR again this year, is on the bubble in my mind for a reason that we'll explain below. Morey, Long and Garvin all bring something different to the table but in the end this final spot will come down special teams play instead of their performance as a receiver. For the record, Long, Garvin, Gant and Jones are all practice squad eligible.
Jerheme Urban: Urban had his best season as a pro last year with almost 500 yards and four touchdowns but his spot on the 2009 spot isn't guaranteed. Urban won the fourth wide out spot last year in camp thanks to Doucet's injury in training camp and his value on special teams. As long as he keeps that edge then he'll keep his roster spot, but if Doucet proves to be as valuable and versatile on special teams then the club could look elsewhere for their fifth wide out. That doesn't mean by any means that Urban lacks talent or ability but with a team so deep at wide receiver, it might be in thier better interest to keep a guy who is younger or has a bigger upside. Again all of that is IF Doucet can win the fourth spot and that's certainly not a given.
Sean Morey: For all intents and purposes, Morey isn't a wide receiver. He's primarily a special teams player but we have to list him at a position somewhere. Morey had the best season of his career last year and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl. At some point the 32 year old will be replaced by a younger option but there are no guarantees that it'll be this season. He's a Whisenhunt guy who simply does whatever is asked of him and does all of the little things that so often go unoticed.
Lance Long: Long was last year's training camp hero. Nearly every practice report included him making a great catch but his great camp led to a preseason in which he caught a whopping five balls for 64 yards. That hasn't stopped the Long love affair this season though as there's already talk of him pushing for a roster spot and maybe even the Cardinals being afraid of putting him on the practice squad for a second consecutive season because another team would grab him. His upside notwithstanding though, Long's path the roster will go through Morey. If he wants to make the final 53, he'll most likely have to prove he can be extremely effective on special teams. Another outside shot is if Doucet beats out Urban and then the club decides that Long has a better future than Urban.
Michael Ray Garvin: Garvin, a cornerback in college, is much like Morey and Long in that his path to the roster will be as a special teams player instead of a reciever. Garvin will get a shot at returning kickoffs during camp and given the lack of proven players in that competition he might have a better shot than Long to make the final squad. Pure, straight line speed is something that can't be taught and Garvin, a former world class sprinter, has wheels that are second to none. Again he's a long shot but if he's impressive on kick returns, he has just as good a chance as any.
Ornea Jones: Jones was undrafted in 2007 and has spent time on the practice squads of the Colts, Packers and Cardinals. He has good speed and decent size but there is just too much talent ahead of him for him to land anywhere but the practice squad.
Ed Gant: Gant is an undrafted rookie with some potential as a returner. He went to tiny school (North Alabama) and had double digit touchdowns his senior year but he's still a long term project at best. His ceiling this year would be a season on the practice squad.
In the end the most likely outcome is that the receiving corps remains completely unchanged from last year but the possibility remains for some shakeups if Doucet manages to leap frog Urban. The battle for 'special teams ace' could be one worth keeping an eye on as well. Who makes your final roster? Who is the bottom of the ladder guy that you think could surprise some people?