Arizona Cardinals Better Make Sure Michael Floyd Toy Comes With Batteries

By Greg Archuleta

Forget the socks; when it was time to pick up their gift from the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals went straight for the toy section.

They better make sure they know how to use it properly.

The Cardinals, criticized for a boring offseason that was highlighted by the failed attempt to land quarterback Peyton Manning, made a splash Thursday night with the No. 13 pick in the NFL draft by selecting Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd.

All the sensible players were there for the Cardinals when it was their turn to pick: Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff, Stanford guard David DeCastro, North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram.

All would’ve been logical choices that would’ve helped Arizona up front on either side of the line. – kind of like getting a nice shirt, some durable pants at Christmas.

The Cardinal instead gave quarterback Kevin Kolb (or John Skelton) an early Christmas present by unwrapping the second best wide receiver in the draft-turned the second best wide receiver in Arizona.

The nearly 6-foot-3, 220-pound Floyd caught 100 passes for 1,147 yards last year for Notre Dame. He has the potential to give the Cards that second star wide receiver to complement Larry Fitzgerald that has been missing since Anquan Boldin signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2010.

Arizona, however, did put itself on a slippery slope when it seemingly catered to Fitzgerald’s wishes; he told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King he wanted the franchise to take Floyd. Even if Floyd was the player the Cards were targeting all along, they now will look like they were catering to their star wide receiver.

But the real question is how productive Floyd will be. When the Cardinals had Fitzgerald and Boldin, they also had a quarterback that should end up in the Hall of Fame in Kurt Warner. He knew how to distribute the ball to the two stars, and he knew how to get rid of the ball quickly.

The knock on both Kolb and Skelton is that they hold onto the ball too long, which contributed to the team allowing 54 sacks – the second highest total in the league in 2011. And neither will be mistaken for a player the caliber of Warner – at least in their current form.

On the other end of that is a suspect offensive line that showed signs of improvement during the second half of the season but still doesn’t evoke a whole lot of confidence. Arizona’s resigning of left tackle Levi Brown was met with resounding silence.

The signing of San Francisco free agent Adam Snyder upgraded the guard position, but it’s not as if the Cards’ offensive line shot up to the top 10 among the NFL’s best units.

The Cardinals still could address their line and other needs with the rest of the draft, but by taking Floyd, they’ve put pressure on their 2012 starting quarterback as well their rookie wideout to have breakout seasons.

Good luck with that new toy; make sure you have the owner’s manual.


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