According to multiple sources, including Pro Football Weekly, the Arizona Republic, and the Sports Xchange, Cardinals’ rookie receiver Michael Floyd, the 13th overall pick, is expected to start Training Camp as the #4 receiver and likely will begin the season there as well. This seems a little weird because he was seen as pretty NFL ready coming out of Notre Dame and they brought him in to take the bracket coverage off of Larry Fitzgerald, possibly even at Fitzgerald’s urging. Floyd also showed up for Fitzgerald’s wide receiver camp, albeit after being called out by Fitzgerald, who has taken a personal interest in Floyd’s developmental.
However, the Cardinals reportedly are not impressed with Floyd, as he tries to adjust to an NFL work ethic. They’re also an organization that traditionally likes to make their rookies earn their way up the depth chart. On top of that, rookie receivers take at least a year typically to adjust to the speed of the NFL. Discounting Julio Jones and AJ Green (the exceptions), since the 2005 NFL Draft, 22 receivers have gone in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. In their rookie years, they have averaged 37 catches for 524 yards and 3 touchdowns.
That group is not a group of busts. It includes, among others, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Michael Crabtree, Percy Harvin, Hakeem Nicks, Jeremy Maclin, Kenny Britt, Calvin Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Robert Meachem, Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, and Roddy White. The leader in rookie production among those 22, strangely Dwayne Bowe, who caught 70 passes for 995 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2007.
Expect Floyd’s impact to be made in 2013 and beyond, when, hopefully, the Cardinals will have a quarterback capable of getting the most out of Fitzgerald and Floyd. Andre Roberts and Early Doucet are expected to be the #2 and the #3 receivers respectively, though Floyd could work his way up the depth chart during the season. He’s not draftable in redraft leagues in fantasy football.