Camp Look: Many Battles for Job Among Talented Receivers
Eighth in a series of Cardinals unit analysis as on-field training camp work in pads approaches, following special teams, defensive backs, linebackers, defensive line, offensive line, tight ends and running backs.
Projected starters: DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk
Solid backups: Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, KeeSean Johnson, Trent Sherfield
On the bubble: Johnnie Dixon, A.J. Richardson, JoJo Ward, Andre Patton
Talk about a crowded position group. There are 11 wide receivers that will be competing in training camp, whether it be for roster spots or jobs on the practice squad.
The reality is that Isabella, Butler, Johnson and Sherfield might survive the cut to 53 players if the coaches decide to keep seven. If it’s only six, one from that quartet will probably be on the outside looking in, but could be on the practice squad if they clear waivers.
In the bubble group, perhaps two might be practice-squad participants. Dixon could be a long-shot for a job on the cutdown to 53, with that likely happening if he is considered the top option as a kickoff returner.
However, those returns have become such a limited part of the NFL game that it would be a tough call to keep him instead of one of the aforementioned gang of four.
The top three are surely locks and all are considered starters because of the preponderance of times they will share the field at the same time. There will also likely be several times when that trio will be on the field with at least one additional from the other four.
Butler is most intriguing because of his ability, coupled with the fact that he missed all of the 2019 season because of injury. Patton was recently acquired after spending last year as an active, rotational player on the L.A. Chargers.
Overall, this has all the earmarks of being one of the most productive wideout contingents in the NFL.
Next up: QUARTERBACKS