Meet Andre Roberts

Andre Roberts (AP Photo)

Arguably the most unheralded selection of Arizona's draft class, Cardinal fans will soon become familiar with WR Andre Roberts. While utilizing a third-round pick has been scrutinized due to an already established wide receiving corps, Arizona felt strongly enough to select the former Citadel standout. Find out more about Roberts inside as we continue to meet the Cardinals' newest additions.

Although the Arizona Cardinals still possess the likes of wideouts Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston, the loss of Anquan Boldin can't be underestimated. Boldin was a jack-of-all-trades receiver who displayed unmatched toughness throughout his career. Although some believe there wasn't an immediate need at the wide receiver position entering the draft, the Cardinals' front office thought otherwise. After focusing on the defensive side of the ball in the first two rounds, Arizona selected WR Andre Roberts in Round 3.

Roberts is a small-school prospect, an area where the Cardinals have found success in recent years. Arizona went a similar route in the past two drafts when it selected players with related backgrounds, cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Greg Toler. Both players are slotted to start heading into the 2010 campaign. While Toler entered the NFL as a raw talent, Roberts' skill-set is more comparable to Rodgers-Cromartie at this point in his career. Roberts is an extremely polished receiver and is expected to contribute immediately.


Andre Roberts
(Getty)

As a dominate player at the FCS level (formerly Division I-AA), Roberts entered the draft process as an unknown prospect. However, his notoriety started gaining momentum following an impressive Senior Bowl week and a solid performance at the NFL Combine. Roberts prefaced his body of work throughout draft circles with and extremely productive college career. Roberts totaled 286 catches for 3,743 yards and 36 touchdowns during his four-year tenure with the Bulldogs.

While other receiving prospects may boast more potential in the years to come, few others are thought to be as NFL-ready. Roberts displays a tremendous burst of speed off the line of scrimmage, a quality that should allow him to create separation from opposing cornerbacks. Furthermore, Roberts is a versatile route runner and shows elusiveness in the open field after the catch.

In addition to Fitzgerald and Breaston, third-year WR Early Doucet should also help fill the void left by Boldin. After a relatively quiet rookie season, Doucet hauled in 17 receptions for 214 yards and a touchdown a year ago. He's been termed as a Boldin clone and could often line up opposite of Fitzgerald with Breaston continuing to work as a slot receiver. Despite the positives surrounding Doucet, there are some concerns particularly his sporadic hands.

Meanwhile, Roberts will likely come to the desert as the fourth option at wide receiver but will have the opportunity to move up. Although the notion of Roberts jumping into the starting lineup is a long shot, he could pass Doucet will a strong training camp and preseason. Along with his duties on offense, Roberts should also see the field on special teams. Roberts is an experienced return option and should partner with RB LaRod Stephens-Howling to boost the Cardinals' special teams unit.


Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com
or click here to access the AZRedReport.com message boards.

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