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Look for Cardinals to draft potential No. 2 receiver

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted Dec. 30, 2011 @ 1:47 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

While there appear to be far greater priorities, with offensive tackle probably at the top of the list, look for the Cardinals to make a concerted effort to draft a legitimate No. 2 receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald.

The consensus in the desert is that the team really missed the contributions of Steve Breaston, who signed as a free agent with the Chiefs this season after establishing himself as an extremely reliable complement to Fitzgerald who was capable of making big plays and stretching the field.

"They made a big mistake not re-signing him, I think," one team insider said.

As it stands, a battle for the No. 2  spot is expected between Andre Roberts and Early Doucet, who are both considered much better-suited to fill the No. 3 role in the slot.

Doucet is a free agent whom our sources believe the team will make an effort to bring back — no matter what Larry Fitzgerald Sr. thinks.

Fitzgerald's dad, a veteran Minneapolis-based sportswriter, ripped into Doucet via Twitter the day after the receiver tripped over his feet in the endzone and failed to catch what probably would have been an easy game-winning touchdown. Fitzgerald Sr. accused Doucet of dropping too many passes and not working hard enough at his craft.

"I think he's wrong," the insider said. Doucet was productive all year as the go-to guy on third down. His numbers (53 catches for 682 yards and five TDs) are better than Roberts' and comparable to those of (former top-flight Cardinals No. 2 WR) Anquan Boldin in Baltimore (57-887-3). And he performs on special teams, too.

"Larry's dad got down on Doucet for not working out with Larry this past offseason, but it was because he was still recovering from surgery for a sports hernia. He actually came to camp in great shape. The last thing the Cardinals have to worry about is Doucet's work ethic. Yeah, he dropped some passes, but considering the shaky play at quarterback, he was very solid.

"But he's definitely a No. 3 or a No. 4."

As for the other wideouts on the Cardinals' roster at season's end (Stephen Williams, 2011 free-agent addition Chansi Stuckey and rookie DeMarco Sampson), we hear the expectations are far from great.

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