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Early On, Cards Tab Doucet


LSU receiver Early Doucet was the Cardinals' third-round pick in 2008.

With Bryant Johnson leaving in free agency, the Cardinals needed another young candidate for their third receiver spot.

They got one in the third round of the NFL draft, taking LSU's Early Doucet.

Doucet isn't a burner – he ran in the high 4.5s and low 4.6s in his 40-yard dashes during pre-draft workouts – so he isn't a stretch-the-field type. But he is known has a hard worker and can make plays after the catch.

"I'm a 4.5 guy, legit," Doucet said. "I'm not going to say I'm a 4.3 guy, 4.4 guy [


]( I'm not. I'm not surprised by my 40 times. You want to run faster, but I didn't. It is what it is. I'm not a 4.3 guy and never will be. But I'm a football player so that's all that matters."

Doucet acknowledged he was "a little down" he didn't go earlier, knowing his 40-times probably hurt him.

Playing for the national champion Tigers, the 6-foot, 209-pound Doucet had 57 catches for 525 yards and five touchdowns this season, missing four games with a groin injury. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he was not worried about Doucet's slower 40 times.

"This year he struggled a little bit with the injury but if you look at some of his

tape from last year, especially with two receivers (Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis) that went early (in the draft last year) he was one that stood out," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "He was high on our board and that was someone you could not ignore."

After Fitzgerald and Boldin, the Cards were short at wideout. Jerheme Urban, Ahmad Merritt, Steve Breaston and Jamaica Rector are the other third-receiving candidates.

Doucet said he has idolized Boldin in part because they are similar players.

"I feel like my game is like his," Doucet said. "We like to run after the catch, we like to go across the middle, and we both played quarterback in high school. I kind of look up to him.

"I just want to come in, have (Fitzgerald and Boldin) take me under their wings ans school me."

On the topic of Boldin, general manager Rod Graves emphasized the choice of Doucet was to supplement the receiving corps with Boldin and not as an early hedge in the possibility of Boldin being traded.

"We took the best player available and the one that would have the biggest impact on our team at this point," Graves said. "I understand people trying to connect the dots but we fully expect Anquan Boldin playing with us.

"Our anticipation is to have a dynamic group of receivers with Early competing and Larry and Anquan there. ... We are not interested in trading Anquan Boldin."

Two running backs the Cardinals had been considering – Kevin Smith and Jamaal Charles – each were taken earlier in the third round. Smith as the first pick of the round to Detroit and Charles to Kansas City with the 10th pick of the round.

Contact Darren Urban at Posted 4/27/08. Updated 4/27/08.

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