|The Cards drafted Floyd because he was high on their board, not because it's what Fitz wanted. (Getty Images)|
The Cardinals really need to keep Kevin Kolb upright in 2012, so it was surprising to see them use their first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft on Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd. Of course, considering the rumors that franchise wideout Larry Fitzgerald was pushing for the Cards to do so, maybe it wasn't as shocking.
Those rumors stemmed from a pre-draft column from Peter King of Sports Illustrated, who wrote that he spoke with Fitz and "let's just say that he wants fellow Minnesotan Michael Floyd with that 13th pick. Badly ..." However, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, appearing on the NFL Network's Total Access Monday night, said Fitzgerald had no input on the selection.
"Overrated statement to be honest with you," Whisenhunt said. "I think it's great that one of your best players is engaged with what your team is doing, but as far as giving us advice or being involved with the decision, he wasn't really involved."
After the fact, however, Fitzgerald had no problem pointing out how much he liked the pick.
"In this league you have to be able to beat press man coverage on third down," Fitzgerald texted the Arizona Republic. "He is a big guy who has suddenness and can win on third down and make plays in the red zone.
"And he's from Minnesota. Enough said. LOL."
I find it borderline impossible to believe that Fitzgerald and Whisenhunt didn't talk about adding Floyd leading up to the draft, or that Fitzgerald didn't provide any input on the selection of Floyd -- he made it publicly known, via a conversation of King, that he wanted Floyd.
But you can't blame Whisenhunt for downplaying it, especially since this isn't the first time that Fitz has pushed for a possible roster change. (That being said, no one thinks that Fitz actually makes the decisions for Arizona; he has to have some influence though.)
He clearly wanted the team to add Kevin Kolb last offseason and that decision hasn't looked like the smartest move at this point; Kolb simply wasn't the quarterback Arizona thought they were getting from Philadelphia.
Floyd's probably got a better chance to succeed, especially as Anquan Boldin 2.0 -- Whisenhunt on Total Access that Floyd was the seventh-rated player on the Cardinals entire board, so it was a no-brainer when he was available at No. 13.
"He was the second-highest rated receiver we had on the board," Whisenhunt said. "He was No. 7 overall, so when we got to our pick, he was the one who was standing out."
And the Cardinals might've saved enough face with their fourth-round steal of Bobby Massie to make up for missing on a lineman in the first round. Besides, if Floyd is half as good as Fitzgerald expects, it won't matter where they drafted him, it'll look like a good choice.
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