Wide receiver was an area of need for the Arizona Cardinals. But
Cardinals’ brass has been touting all the while that they won’t draft
for need, instead they opt for the best available player.
Well, the worlds of need and talent collided in Arizona’s first round
draft pick when they selected Notre Dame wide receiver Michael
Floyd with the 13th overall selection of the 2012 NFL Draft.
“We got a player who can change field position very quickly, and
when you couple that with the guys we already have – Larry, Andre
and Early – we feel like it gives us a very good receiving corps,”
Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Thursday night.
“There’s been a lot of talk about us needing a number two (receiver)
and we’ve said all along that we felt like we’ve had some good
young players and we’ve added another player to that mix who’s
physical, fast, big and can make some of those back shoulder
catches and red zone plays.”
Floyd starred for four years at Notre Dame, and leaves South Bend
as the school’s all-time leading receiver with 271 catches. But he
also had a tumultuous stay in South Bend that included an arrest
for DUI and a team suspension. Apparently, those did not serve as
red flags for the Cardinals’ organization during their pre-draft visit
“One of the things that stood out to me was his honesty,”
Whisenhunt said. “We asked him some pretty tough questions
about his past and he was very honest.
“We emphasized the importance to him about some of our players
and how important they are to the community and what types of
role models they are.”
The immediate thought by most Cardinal fans when Floyd’s name
was called was how Floyd would be able to learn from Pro Bowl
receiver Larry Fitzgerald. But Floyd will help Fitz and others as well.
“It gives us another target, which we think will help take pressure
off the quarterback,” Whisenhunt said. “Obviously, we’re excited
about potentially taking pressure off of Larry. A lot of defenses are
scheming to try and do that.”