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Selection of Michael Floyd puts pressure squarely on Kevin Kolb

The Arizona Cardinals did two things with the selection of
Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd Thursday evening.

One, they avoided repeating the mistakes of 2003, when the
team passed on an opportunity to select one of many
players who would help the team in favor of trading down
in the first round. Instead of picking sixth, where they
could have selected a guy like Terrell Suggs, they moved
down to 17th and 18th, nabbing Bryant Johnson and Calvin
Pace.

That move still haunts the team to this day, and they did
not let history repeat itself Thursday night.

However, as great as the addition of Floyd will be for the
team, the second thing the move does will have even larger
ramifications for the Arizona Cardinals.

In a way, head coach Ken Whisenhunt spelled it out when
explaining the pick.

“It gives us another target, which we think will help take
pressure off the quarterback,” he said of Floyd.

By taking more pressure off the quarterback the Cardinals
are actually putting more on him.

You’re up, Kevin Kolb.

The Cardinals now boast an embarrassment of riches at the
skill positions on offense, with enough playmakers to help
even the most average of QBs look good.

Larry Fitzgerald. Beanie Wells. Ryan Williams. Michael
Floyd. Todd Heap. Rob Housler. Early Doucet. Andre
Roberts.

Every one of these players has shown big-play ability.
Every one of these players stands to play key roles for
the Arizona Cardinals in 2012. Neither one of these
players is an offensive lineman, sure, but the team will
most definitely address that spot later in the draft.

By drafting a playmaker like Floyd with their first-
rounder, the Cardinals showed they hope to replicate the
success they had through the air in 2008 and 2009. And, if
not that, at least get back to being one of the league’s
better passing attacks.

Yes, you can take Kurt Warner out of the offense, but you
apparently cannot take the offense out of the Arizona
Cardinals.

“When you really look at it, you’ve got a player that can
change field position pretty quickly,” Whisenhunt said.
“And when you couple that with the guys that we already
have – Larry, Andre and Early – we feel like it gives us a
very good receiving core.”

Indeed, but that’s where Kolb comes in, fresh out of the
excuses that were granted him in his first season with the
team.

He’ll have an entire offseason to learn the playbook, a
revamped (if not improved) offensive line, and one of the
league’s better running back tandems.

And, with the selection of Michael Floyd, Kevin Kolb will
have a group of pass catchers who can make big plays down
the field.

All he has to do is get them the ball.