Early Doucet was considered a steal in the third round of the 2008 NFL draft. He amassed 160 receptions in four seasons at LSU, but his value dropped because of his relatively pedestrian size and speed.
Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like Anquan Boldin in several ways.
Photo from fOTOGLIF
Doucet is 6’0″/212 while Boldin is 6’1″/217. Doucet ran a 4.56 40-yard dash at the Combine, Boldin a 4.71.
In fact while at first it appeared the Cardinals had nabbed Doucet to step in and become the No.3 receiver behind Fitzgerald and Boldin, perhaps even immediately, injuries and circumstances have changed.
Steve Breaston emerged in last year’s training camp as much more than a return man to the surprise of most, and Doucet battled several injuries on his way to collecting only 14 rookie receptions.
Anquan Boldin meanwhile went public with his dissatisfaction with Cardinals management and his current contract. While Q is still a member of the team this year, all signs point to him getting traded this offseason.
Which begs the question, did Arizona draft Doucet to take Q’s place on the team rather than play alongside him? He is a virtual clone physically.
We may get that answer after the Cardinals’ season is over.
In the meantime, Boldin is reportedly “highly unlikely to play Sunday against Green Bay” for Arizona’s first round playoff matchup on Wild Card Weekend. Even if he does, he will surely be gimpy and not be in the game for his usual number of snaps.
Enter Doucet. Early has really been coming on as of late, showing a noticeable swagger that had not been present until the past few games. It seems the pro game has slowed down for him and he has gained confidence.
He was inactive for the first seven games of the season but has now caught at least one pass in every game except one, having surpassed Jerheme Urban on the depth chart at mid-season.
Additionally, it is clear that when Doucet has spelled Boldin in the past, he runs many of the same routes.
Expect Doucet to be in position to make some crucial plays for the Cardinals on Sunday, and perhaps one of 2010′s biggest sleepers as well.
This article also appears on Undrafteds.com