PFF: Arizona Cardinals should draft a slot receiver
Because Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald has been called the best in the business, it’s going to be imperative for Arizona to find the next man in line for when the soon-to-be-14-year NFL veteran calls it quits.
To address that eventual void, Pro Football Focus wrote that Arizona should get a slot receiver in this year’s NFL Draft.
Their analysts note that Fitzgerald’s 87 slot targets in 2016 were the third-most in the NFL and the most of his career (to be fair, Fitz didn’t move to the slot until after Bruce Arians was hired as head coach in Arizona). In his age-33 season last year, Fitzgerald saw 150 total targets and made 107 catches for 1,023 yards and six touchdowns. His 9.6 yards per reception were a career low.
The PFF article includes a graphic that shows East Carolina’s Zay Jones as last year’s leader among NFL Draft prospects in slot yards per route run. Jones also led FBS slot receivers in target percentage by nearly 11.2 percent.
Louisiana Tech’s Trent Taylor, Eastern Washington’s Cooper Kupp, Northwestern’s Austin Carr and UNC’s Ryan Switzer round out the top five — behind Jones — as the NFL Draft prospects with the most slot yards per route run, according to PFF.
Fitzgerald has said himself that he’d like to see the Cardinals take Western Michigan’s Corey Davis. The 6-foot-3, 209-pound receiver is the all-time FBS leader in career receiving yards.
In one of the recent seven-round mock drafts, the aforementioned Switzer goes to the Cardinals in the fifth round.