While the real NFL season will be all that matters in the end, Isabella has drawn some high praise.
Pro Football Focus graded each rookie on their best routes.
For the Cardinals rookie, Isabella was hard to pinpoint, just ask PFF:
Isabella was a pick-your-poison kind of guy when it came to his route tree. He was dominant on screens, incredibly efficient on hitch routes but was the only draft-class receiver who came close to Arcega-Whiteside’s production on go concepts. On 22 targets, Isabella racked up 597 yards on 13 receptions, as every single one of his go route receptions moved the chains (seven first downs) or scored six points (six touchdowns). Isabella is more than just a slot weapon, and his downfield ability on go routes proves just such.
Isabella’s new quarterback, and new starter in Arizona, Kyler Murray was seemingly unstoppable on go routes last year. Murray connected on 39 go route concepts for 925 yards while he threw 15 of his 29 big-time throws on the route. Murray has an innate ability to put touch and zip on the ball at the same time and despite targeted passes an average of 21.7 yards past the line of scrimmage on these routes, still fielded a ridiculous 62.0% adjusted completion percentage (PFF’s metric that accounts for incompletions outside of the quarterback’s control).
It’s one of the most intriguing and understated aspects of Isabella’s game. Many assume because of his size that he is a slot receiver, but Isabella did massive damage as an outside receiver as well.
When you combine that with the fact that Kyler Murray is outstanding throwing the ball deep, this could be the start of something beautiful…
Now, can the season start already?