Cardinals Add WR Andre Roberts of Citadel

The Cardinals selected wide receiver Andre Roberts with the 88th selection in the third round.  Roberts was relatively unknown before his outstanding Senior Bowl and Combine performances, but we know the Cardinals love their small school wunders; Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie from Tennessee St. went in the first round in 2008 also based largely on an impressive Senior Bowl performance.  Roberts ran a 4.40 second forty and should contribute as a 4th receiver and a kick returner.  Here’s the CBSsports.com scouting report:

Release: Good straight-line speed and superior quickness. Quick first step off the line, and separates from defenders after a cut or once past the second level with great acceleration. Will need to learn how to beat the jam from pro corners, but won’t back away from the challenge.

Hands: Makes the easy catch consistently, and can make difficult catches look easy. Strong hands and good vertical in jump-ball situations, albeit against smaller FCS corners. Can track the ball over either shoulder. Maintains control of the ball after taking a hit down the sideline. Secure with the ball as a punt returner.

Route running: Most receptions come on screens, drag routes or down the sideline. Separates from nickel corners on quick outs, and can stop on a dime after securing the ball to head upfield. Will need to learn the finer points of route-running to find holes in zones from the slot, but his quick feet and sure hands should allow him to excel.

After the catch: Very elusive after the catch, often turning short throws into big gains using quick reverse moves, vision and acceleration. Protects the ball well, and plays stronger than his wiry frame would indicate. Fights for additional yardage after initial contact. Nice first step, cut back and quick acceleration on punt returns, but NFL special teams units will be tougher to gain yardage against.

Blocking: Willing downfield and goal-line blocker, but lacks the size and hand technique to sustain against larger corners. Could give more consistent effort maintaining the inside angle and getting to defenders in the open field. Gets a body on a defender to seal back-side edge when run blocking from motion.

Intangibles: Hard worker on and off the field, as is expected from students of a military school. Quiet leader, well-liked by his coaches. Received the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame’s annual Bobby Richardson Sportsmanship Award in May 2009.

I imagine the Cardinals will still try to grab a quarterback in one of the later rounds; offensive line and maybe even a cornerback are a possibility.


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