We have looked at the quarterbacks and the running backs so far in our position grades. You, the readers, have agreed with my grades so far, giving the QBs a "C" and the running backs a "B." Today we bring our attention to the Arizona Cardinals wide receivers, which feature one of the best ever in Larry Fitzgerald and a few young players.
What grade do they get as a unit? Find out after the jump. You can, of course, vote in the poll to give your grade for them.
The wide receiving corps was pretty disappointing overall. Only three wideouts had more than five catches on the season. Those guys naturally were Fitz, Early Doucet and Andre Roberts.
Fitz had an amazing season, catching 80 passes for 1411 yards and eight TDs. He makes catches that leave you breathless (after you have screamed out all your breath). He gets yards after the catch and does everything. There really is nothing left to say about him.
Coming into the season, one concern was that of who would be the number threat that takes pressure off of Fitzgerald. After attempting to sign Braylon Edwards and a lot of other names were thrown around, the team decided to stick with their young guys, believing that Roberts and Doucet, combined with the added dimension of tight ends that can be a threat, could do the trick.
Roberts started really slowly but came on down the stretch. Doucet was very good early on, but his production waned at the end, due likely in part to Roberts' increased production.
Doucet was the preferred target on third down. He led the team with 22 third down receptions. Fitz had 14 and Roberts 13.
Both Roberts and Doucet finished with comparable numbers. Doucet finished with 54 receptions and 689 yards. Roberts had 51 catches for 586.
The other receivers were almost non-existent. Chansi Stuckey, signed in the offseason, had four catches and did not play special teams. His biggest contribution on the season was fumbling away the ball against the Redskins i what could have been a game-winning comeback drive. Injuries and the use of the tight end kept him off the field for the most part. He had four catches.
Stephen Williams, the big surprise coming out of camp in 2010, did absolutely nothing. He was inactive most of the season, but that is in part due to numbers and the fact that he can't play special teams. That is where DeMarco Sampson played. He even had three receptions. The seventh-round pick of the team in 2011 showed some skills in camp, but also struggled with nagging injuries.
Inconsistent QB play was a mitigating factor in everything, but overall the unit deserves a C. Fitz gets an A+ because he is Fitz and can do anything. Doucet gets a B-. He made it through the season healthy for the first time in his career, but his production faded a little. Roberts Gets a C-. He was expected to be the deep threat to stretch the field. He was invisible for the first half of the season and also dropped a few balls.
Williams and Stuckey have to get failing grades. They did not even contribute on special teams. Williams took space on the roster and Stuckey is remembered most for the fumble. Not good.
As for Sampson, he did about what you can expect for a seventh round pick. He caught a couple of passes and played special teams. That earns him a C.
Much like the team's 8-8 record, the receivers were held at mediocrity only because of Fitzgerald. There is yet potential, but most fans agree that there needs to be at least one upgrade opposite Fitz.
Do you agree? Am I being too harsh? Too generous? You tell me.