After projecting the quarterbacks and running backs already, the next position up for projection will be the receivers. There aren't many question marks heading into camp at wide out, but there is a different feel with long-time receiver Anquan Boldin in Baltimore now. Jerheme "Butterfingers" Urban is now in Kansas City, while special teams ace Sean Morey left for Seattle. The Cardinals were relatively thin at receiver before bringing in several UFAs to participate in mini camps this year. Here's my look at the wide receivers.
Starter: Larry Fitzgerald
- The clear cut starter heading into the season will obviously be Larry Fitzgerald. With Warner gone, he's the leader of the offense and the best weapon the Cardinals now have. Now with Boldin out of the mix, he'll likely get more passes thrown his way and more opportunities to effect the outcome of games. Fitzgerald will also get a chance to become the Cardinals franchise leader in receptions and touchdowns in 2010.
2nd Starter: Steve Breaston
- After Anquan Boldin was traded, Steve Breaston will be given the chance to start full time with the Cardinals. As a starter, Breaston's speed should counter Fitzgerald's double teams and allow him to open up the deep field just as he's done in the past. Breaston won't be returning punts any longer, as he'll need to remain dedicated as a starter. Although Cardinal fans are very familiar with Breaston, the rest of the NFL will realize how good the former 5th-round pick really is.
Slot Receiver: Early Doucet
- Entering his third season, Early Doucet will finally get a chance to contribute on offense on a consistent basis. He's spent the last two seasons buried on the depth chart, but emerged as a threat in last year's playoff win over the Packers, scoring two touchdowns. According to Larry Fitzgerald, Doucet has committed himself to the weight room and the Cardinals offseason training program. Doucet will see most of his time in the slot and will bring the physical toughness that Boldin left with.
4th String/Punt Returner: Andre Roberts
- Rookie Andre Roberts was drafted in the third round with hopes that he'd develop into a quality slot receiver. In his first season, he should have a lock on punt returns since Breaston will be starting on offense. Although Roberts doesn't have the size, he does have the quickness and solid hands to see playing time when the Cardinals resort to four receiver sets. Rookie's are never guaranteed starting spots, nor playing time in Ken Whisenhunts offense, but with all the changes at receiver, Roberts shouldn't have any problems having a successful 2010 season.
5th String/Special Teams: Ed Gant
- Rounding out the group will be 3rd year man Ed Gant. Although Onrea Jones has had successful preseasons as of late, Gant's special teams contributions will ensure that he has a job come September. The Cardinals will need to keep five active wide receivers, but no more. Gant brings depth at wide out as well.
- The Cardinals certainly stayed active this offseason, bringing in five undrafted wide receivers. Although finding the best man is always important, none of these six receivers, other then Jones, will challenge for a roster spot. With the starters already secured and Roberts' hold of punt returns, 1-2 of these receivers will be assigned to the practice squad after being released.
The Arizona Cardinals have never had a problem with quality play or depth at wide receiver, and after Roberts was drafted, things will remain the same in 2010. Fitzgerald is considered one of the best, if not the best wide receiver in the game, and Breaston and Doucet will open many eyes outside of Arizona. What are your thoughts on the Cardinals depth at receiver?