Arizona Cardinals Problems With Dropped Passes: What Does the Future Hold?

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Arizona Cardinals Problems With Dropped Passes: What Does the Future Hold?
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Steve Breaston has seven drops on 79 targets so far this season.

Dropped Passes.

Just the thought of them makes coaches cringe.

It’s something Arizona Cardinals head coach, Ken Whisenhunt, knows all too well.

The Arizona Cardinals are second to last in the NFL with 268.5 total yards of offense per game so far this season. That puts them with the likes of the Carolina Panthers in the hunt for the title of "worst team" in the National Football League.

What's more embarrassing for the Cardinals is that they were fourth overall in yards per game in 2008.

However, a lot has changed since then. Anquan Boldin, a solid receiver, was traded to the Baltimore Ravens, and Kurt Warner, the quality starting quarterback, retired.

With the Cardinals quarterback situation this season, you would expect some poor throws and breakdowns in communication. Yet, it seems that maybe Arizona is just lacking quality receivers. While there is definitely talent for the quarterback to throw to in Larry Fitzgerald, he can’t do it all by himself.

The Arizona Cardinals have dropped 33 passes, more than every team in the NFL other than the Detroit Lions.

Fitzgerald has only four drops on 155 targets, which puts him as the lowest in the league among players with three or more drops. Steve Breaston has seven drops on 79 targets and Early Doucet, on injured reserve, had four drops on 57 targets.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
A.J. Green has been compared to Larry Fitzgerald with his ability to jump and catch passes that few receivers can.

Heck, even running back Tim Hightower has five drops on 34 targets, putting him at tenth highest in the league among players with three drops or more.

There are more than enough drops to go around on this team, which poses the question—which receiver should the Cardinals acquire in the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft?

A.J. Green (Georgia) is projected as the number one receiver going into 2011’s draft, and should be a prime candidate for the Cardinals.

His 158 receptions for 2,542 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns in college are astonishing. He has been compared to Larry Fitzgerald, and having them both as targets in the future for the Cardinals would be a step towards taking this team back to the Super Bowl.

 

Other options the Cardinals could consider:

Jonathan Baldwin (Pittsburgh) had 127 receptions for 2,325 receiving yards with 16 touchdowns in his college career. Both Baldwin and Green are remarkably tall; Baldwin at 6’5” and Green at 6’4”.

Not only is Baldwin tall but he is very strong for a college wide receiver, usually pulling in catches that most could not. He is a smart player and reads the defense well, which makes him a definite red zone threat.

Which receiver would have the biggest impact on the 2011 Arizona Cardinals offense?

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Michael Floyd (Notre Dame) finished his junior year with 165 receptions for 2,430 receiving yards with 26 touchdowns. Floyd has impressive hands that he utilizes well with his ability to make plays deep down the field. He’s another receiver in this year’s draft that possesses great size; 6’3” 220 pounds.

With the recent suspensions for Ohio State that will be effective for the first five games of the 2011 season, receiver DeVier Posey will likely be a part of the 2011 Draft. Through his first three years at Ohio State he had 121 receptions for 1,723 receiving yards with 15 touchdowns. DeVier Posey has been compared to Anquan Boldin, which could make him a valuable asset to this struggling Arizona offense.

If the Cardinals choose to pick up a wide receiver in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, there is definitely enough talent out there. Whether they can get A.J. Green or not, there is still a lot of potential in either Jonathan Baldwin, Michael Floyd or DeVier Posey.

The Arizona Cardinals have addressed their issue with dropping passes, and now is the time to think about the future of this offense by picking a receiver that will develop into our next top offensive player.

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