Over 1,000 receiving yards and five touchdowns would be considered a breakout season for most players, but for Michael Floyd, the Arizona Cardinals‘ most productive pass catcher in 2013, last year’s output will pale in comparison to what’s in store.
Floyd hasn’t even scratched the surface yet in regards to his potential. But there’s reason to believe he’s about to do just that. As early as this fall, Floyd is capable of taking league by storm and becoming one of the game’s most dominant pass catchers.
After showcasing an all-around skill set in his second season, with an impressive blend of size and speed that makes him one of the NFL‘s most physically gifted receivers, Floyd appears poised to continue a rapid ascent. Seemingly everyone has been singing his praises this offseason, as Floyd reportedly stole the show during the Cardinals’ OTAs.
According to The Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers, Floyd “looked even better this spring” than he did in 2013, adding “he caught nearly everything thrown his way.” That praise came a month after Somers reported Floyd was Arizona’s most impressive player during the squad’s first spring workout and won his fair share of battles when covered by Patrick Peterson, who is one of the NFL’s brightest young cornerbacks.
Somers hasn’t been the only one impressed with Floyd’s development. Quarterback Carson Palmer recently told the team’s official website that Floyd’s play this spring has “just jumped out to me,” later saying, “I have very high expectations for Mike this year.”
What happens without pads, months before the start of the season often proves to be fool’s gold. And truthfully, Floyd still has much to prove.
For starters, he benefited from the incessant attention Larry Fitzgerald garnered last year. Fitzgerald is only 30 years old, but hasn’t crossed the 1,000-yard plateau since 2011. He’s still as capable as any receiver in football, but he won’t be around forever. Can Floyd remain as productive when he’s the one defenses are scheming to contain?
Also, a receiver’s ceiling is only as high as his quarterback’s. The aforementioned Palmer, who is far from upper echelon to begin with, turns 35 in December. Floyd’s fate as a potential elite receiver will always be contingent on Arizona’s ability to equip the offense with an at least solid signal caller.
Developing surer hands is one specific area where Floyd needs to improve. Dating back to his time at Notre Dame, Floyd has occasionally put concentration lapses on film, and in 2013, he dropped 7.14 percent of the catchable balls thrown his way, according to Pro Football Focus. It’s certainly a correctable issue, as Floyd has displayed the aptitude to make difficult receptions in traffic, but it’s something to work on nonetheless.
Of course Floyd has issues to correct, though. He’s 24 years old. Polish will supplant rawness in time, if not soon. And when it does, there’s really no reason why Floyd can’t emerge one of the league’s best at his position.
The size is there. The speed is there. The route-running prowess is there. The production of a star receiver soon will be too.
Cody Strahm is an NFL Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter.