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Cardinals rookie Krishawn Hogan wants to get the little things right

Arizona Cardinals' Krishawn Hogan prepares for a NFL football voluntary team workout, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. Just a few years ago, Hogan was pushing a broom at Lucas Oil Center, sweeping up the site of the NFL Draft Combine. He had no idea that he would one day be competing in that combine and making a big enough impression to join the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent. (AP Photo/Matt York)

LISTEN: Krishawn Hogan, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver

Much has been made of the Arizona Cardinals’ depth at receiver, with the talk being that the team will ultimately have to part ways with some wideouts who belong in the NFL.

Krishawn Hogan may be one such player.

An undrafted rookie free agent out of Marian University, for the most part he has done nothing but impress, working his way up the depth chart with every OTA and mini-camp practice.

Yet, there have been rough patches, including an especially disappointing finish to a mini-camp session that led to head coach Bruce Arians lamenting how he jumped offsides a couple of times.

“If he can count to three he’s got a chance,” Arians said on June 7. “He couldn’t count to three today. He had a rough day.”

Pressed on what Hogan has shown him, however, Arians said he has athleticism and is really smart, which is why the mental mistakes bother him so much.

“Ticks you off that he jumped offsides because he’s a very, very bright guy,” the coach said.

A guest of Doug and Wolf on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station, Hogan recalled that day, which ended with Arians voicing his displeasure with the rookie.

“I made a couple mistakes back to back, which is never good,” he said. “That was probably the first time he let me know he knew who I was and he wasn’t happy with that.

“So I learned you can’t repeat mistakes and you’ve got to be consistent, in a good way.”

If Hogan can get past those issues, he may have a chance.

At 6-foot-3 and 222 pounds, he has good size. He ran a 4.56 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, while posting a 36.5-inch vertical jump a 124-inch broad jump and a three-cone drill of 6.74 seconds.

In three college seasons, he caught 263 passes for 4,395 yards and 42 touchdowns, and as a senior was named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association while also being the Crossroads League Offensive Player of the Year.

For all he accomplished, Hogan understands he went undrafted because teams questioned if his game would translate from a small school and conference to the NFL. He believes the questions are fair, but is confident that all he needed was one team to give him a chance to show that, yes, he can play.

Aside from that one practice, he has done exactly that.

Hogan said he has progressed from his first week with the team, having learned the offense to the point where things started to click for him.

“Now I’m at a point to where I really understand the offense and now it’s just trying to make sure I get the little things right every time,” he said.

As Arians said, however, failure to do that could lead to the 22-year-old not making the team, despite the tools and ability he brings to the table.

In fairness to Hogan, he is not the first rookie to struggle with some of the little things, at least early on. He has the rest of the offseason and into training camp to correct his mistakes, and if he can do so then he may have a bright future in the desert.

His goal going forward is to learn the offense better because, he said, the mistakes he has made have to do with not exactly knowing where he is supposed to be and when. Getting the offense down would help him cut down on those mistakes and then, “obviously, just sharpening up the routes, it will all come together.”

Hogan admitted he believes his issues are more mental than physical.

“I think I just need to slow the game down a little bit in my head and then I think I’ll be able to play faster and play a little bit smoother, and I’ll be fine.”

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