As far as Arizona Cardinals’ wide receivers go, there’s Larry Fitzgerald, and then there’s everybody else.
Whether you’re talking in context of the 2017 roster, or the wide receivers that have played for the Cardinals throughout the franchise’s history, Fitzgerald stands out above his peers.
So when Fitzgerald talks, people listen.
On Tuesday, Fitzgerald opened up about rookie wide receiver, Cardinals’ third round draft choice Chad Williams, and paid him one of the highest compliments a young receiver can dream of.
According to ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss, Fitzgerald said, “He (Williams) reminds me of Anquan Boldin in terms of the strength of his hands. Once it touches his hands it just doesn’t move. He’s got unbelievably strong hands.”
While Fitzgerald sits alone atop the Cardinals’ record books in career receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, Boldin is also one of the most productive receivers to ever play for the franchise. Boldin and Fitzgerald were teammates in Arizona from 2004-2009, and the pair formed one of the most dominant one-two punches in the league.
Boldin is second in franchise history with 586 receptions, fourth in receiving yards with 7,520 and fifth in receiving touchdowns with 44. Additionally, Boldin accomplished such feats playing just 95 career games with the Cardinals, a far cry from the 168 games Roy Green spent with the franchise and the 198 games Jackie Smith suited up for the Cardinals in.
Williams caught 90 passes last season at Grambling State, where he earned FCS All-America honors and was a First-Team All-SWAC performer. Williams finished his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, and recorded 21 receiving touchdowns over his final two years at the college level.
The Cardinals selected Williams with the 98th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft after moving down in the third round following a trade. Williams was the second player selected in this year’s draft who did not receive an invitation to the NFL Combine, behind only Joe Mixon of the Cincinnati Bengals who did not receive an invitation due to issues stemming from a domestic violence incident.
Williams reportedly impressed the Cardinals at this year’s Senior Bowl, and based on the compliment Fitzgerald offered this week, Williams has continued to turn heads on the practice field this spring.