We are quickly approaching the beginning of training camp, and we have three position groups left to preview. Next up are the wide receivers.
Here is the roster heading into camp...a lot of receivers.
Jaron Brown, 2013 undrafted rookie
Dan Buckner, 2013 undrafted rookie
LaRon Byrd, 2012 undrafted rookie
Jarrett Dillard, 2013 free agent signee, signed through 2013
Larry Fitzgerald, 2004 first round draft pick, signed through 2018
Michael Floyd, 2012 first round draft pick
Robert Gill, 2013 undrafted rookie
Charles Hawkins, 2013 undrafted rookie
Michael Rios, 2013 undrafted rookie
Andre Roberts, 2010 third round draft pick
Tyler Shaw, 2013 undrafted rookie
Ryan Swope, 2013 sixth round pick
Kerry Taylor, 2012 free agent
Fitz, Floyd, Roberts -- big expectations
After what he called the most frustrating season of his career, Larry Fitzgerald is ready to come back with a vengeance. He is playing multiple receiver positions, and the consensus is that, with the addition of Carson Palmer and the offensive genius of Bruce Arians, he can have a bounce back season like Reggie Wayne did in 2012.
Floyd, the second year player, like Rob Housler among the tight ends, is popping up on everyone's breakout player list.
Roberts, though statistically almost equal to Fitz in 2012, did not have a good season, at least after a fast start. He dropped a lot of passes, but he also was victim, like the rest of the team, of Cardinals quarterbacks. Many believe he is the perfect fit in the slot. Kevin Kolb said a season ago that Roberts was a special player in the slot.
These top three receivers will be expected to shoulder the biggest load. Schematically, we probably won't see much of the other guys, as in four-wide sets, Housler will probably get a lot of looks.
A lot of inexperience
After Fitz, Floyd and Roberts, the inexperience is palpable. Dillard has played in 21 NFL games, but after him, only Byrd has gotten any game snaps, and Byrd only got 11 in 2012.
There is some buzz about some of the undrafted players. Brown and Taylor both saw time on the main field during OTAs and mini-camp. Robert Gill, the 29-year old rookie speedster (who hasn't seen the treadmill video?) also has caught the eye of the coaches. With these young players, there is a lot of size and a lot of speed, but not much experience. Coach Arians has expressed a lack of concern because of their inexperience.
Missing Swope -- will we ever see him?
Swope was drafted in the sixth round in April, despite concerns of concussions he had suffered in college. After he himself downplayed the worries, he did not participate in OTAs, mini-camp with lingering concussion symptoms. and he was apparently not at the NFL Rookie Symposium (at least he was not in the team picture of the rookies and staff for the team that was there).
Initially, Arians expressed no concern, but then, after mini-camp, Arians then became concerned, expressing his surprise that it is still an issue.
The big question now is...will we see him in training camp?
Making the roster
It would be expected that the team will carry six receivers. With a greater use of the tight end, I would honestly not be surprised if they keep as little as five. But six is the best bet. That means Fitz, Floyd, Roberts and then some young players. This battle for the roster will be one of the more important things to watch.
More from Revenge of the Birds:
- Arizona Cardinals training camp 2013: Previewing the tight ends
- Adrian Wilson talks Patriots, Patrick Peterson, No. 24 with local radio
- The Arizona Cardinals running game: Alan Faneca, Jonathan Cooper and Andre Ellington
- Arizona Birdgang Fan Club starting up
- Arizona Cardinals expectations: Carson Palmer, Rashard Mendenhall success does not ensure playoffs
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