I remember the day well. 2010, third round of the draft. The Arizona Cardinals were on the clock. There were top rated prospects still on the board. NaVorro Bowman, ILB. Brandon Ghee and Kevin Thomas CBs. I was excited at the value available. And then came their selection. Andre Roberts, WR from the Citadel. The Cards cost me US $22 that day, including tax.
How, you ask?
Well, after a swift nanosecond of player contemplation, I did my best Derek Anderson impression and threw my universal remote deep. However, unlike DA, I can hit the broadside of a barn without trying too hard. On that day there were no barns, but my living room wall made an excellent substitute. And in that instant I had pieces of universal remote, and because of this Andre Roberts and I were mortal enemies. (Or at least he was mine. I'm pretty sure he had no inkling I existed.) A few days later, I still hadn't moved past my grudge.
With the depth the Cards had at the WR position, and the glaring needs at others (remember Bryant McSadden, I mean Bryant McFadden? The silver lining there is that we traded him back to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 5th round pick that became John Skelton.) taking a small school receiver in the third round was a foolish maneuver. I remember pointing this fact out to Darren Urban. He replied with, and I paraphrase, "He's a punt returner." All preseason the Cards had him working on punt returns. Um, it wasn't pretty. And eventually, I just figured he'd prove himself one way or another, with it looking likely to be the another option. Fast forward to 2011 and Steve Breaston is gone, leaving as a free agent to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Cards are filling the #2 spot with a combo of looks, one of them being...Hit the jump to find out about number 12.
Andre Roberts: At 5'11 and 195 lbs, the second year player finished 2010 with the following stats taken from the SBnation player profile page:
I did a few breakdowns:
24 catches/15 games = 1.6 catches a game. 2TDs/15 games = .13(with a whole lot more 3s. It doesn't make it look any better.) He amassed a total of 896YDS/15 games = 59.73 YDS a game. From a different view, he had 896YDS/73 touches = 12.27YDS per touch. And 2TDs/73 touches = .027 TDs per touch.
For the preseason of 2011, he has the following stats:
6 catches/4 games = 1.5 catches a game. 73YDS, for an average of 12.17YDS. The important factor is 0TDs. I know it is preseason, and players aren't running a full 4 quarters. He had a nice reverse and found the end zone on a nice reverse play. It was reminiscent of a few Breaston plays.
Here's why this is heartening. In 45 games he amassed 5215 all purpose YDS in 45 games @ the Citadel. 36 TDs in 45 games. And most important, he moved the chains for the Bulldogs, with 274 of his 285 receptions resulting in positive yardage. He is versatile, able to run the wildcat offense. He doesn't suffer from the injury bug, which has caused teammate Early Doucet to under-produce in his career, despite his potential.
He has looked sharp in preseason, Kolb finding him for positive gains. And after the catch he has worked for the extra yardage. Shifty, he makes people miss and when contact is made he displays power to finish the play forward while protecting the ball.
And after the 34 yard run with a TD, in which Beanie Wells sold the play and made a perfect pitch, Roberts speed secret is out, he was hand-clocked at a 4.38 40 at his campus day.
We haven't even touched on Andre Roberts as a person, which fits the mold Coach Whiz likes.
What do you think, playing across from Larry Fitzgerald, could Andre Roberts have a breakout season? Tell me in the poll below.
Andre Roberts, Cards breakout player of the year?
I already have my betting $ down on him (126 votes)
There is no way in heck (12 votes)
With the force that is Fitz, anything is possible (157 votes)
Who again? (23 votes)
318 total votes