NFC West: Brian Hartline
Harvin and the San Francisco 49ers' Michael Crabtree, both first-round choices, rank first and second, respectively, in receptions among wide receivers from that 2009 class.
The chart at right shows where they rank among the 26 wide receivers from the 2009 draft with at least one reception. Of those players, Harvin has by far the most rushing attempts with 107. Mike Thomas is second with 34. Crabtree has 14. Harvin ranks second in kickoff returns with 114, behind Brandon Tate (119).
The chart below ranks 2009 drafted wide receivers by receptions. Missing the cut: Brian Hartline (183), Thomas (176), Brandon Gibson (174), Austin Collie (173), Kenny Britt (146), Darrius Heyward-Bey (140), Johnny Knox (133), Mohamed Massaquoi (118) and Louis Murphy (115). No other receivers from that class have more than 69 career receptions.
The team surprised skeptics by winning its first four games anyway.
The injury news has worsened. The Cardinals have fallen to 4-2 as they prepare to face the Minnesota Vikings in Week 7. Arizona will be without quarterback Kevin Kolb and safety Kerry Rhodes. The team is listing cornerback Greg Toler and fullback Anthony Sherman as doubtful.
The Cardinals should have a healthier Darnell Dockett after a hamstring injury slowed the veteran defensive end previously. Strong games from Dockett and defensive end Calais Campbell figure to be key against the Vikings' Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin.
Peterson and Harvin each have four games with 100 yards from scrimmage this season, as the chart shows. Harvin had another game with 98. Peterson ranked fifth (628) and Harvin eighth (603) in yards from scrimmage through Week 6. Larry Fitzgerald (430) and Andre Roberts (304) lead the Cardinals in that category.
Three players have reached 100 yards from scrimmage against the Cardinals this season. Miami Dolphins receivers Brian Hartline (253) and Davone Bess (123) did it in Week 4. Buffalo's C.J. Spiller (110) did it last week.
Marshawn Lynch (97), Wes Welker (95) and Stevan Ridley (95) came closest.
The Vikings' Peterson expects to play despite an ankle injury that sidelined him part of the week. He practiced Friday and expects to start.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Thoughts on the Arizona Cardinals' 24-21 overtime win against the Miami Dolphins at University of Phoenix Stadium:
What it means: The Cardinals improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1974 with one of the more remarkable victories in a long line of them at University of Phoenix Stadium. Jay Feely's overtime field goal gave the Cardinals only their fifth victory in 81 chances since 1988 when trailing by 13-plus points at halftime. This victory kept the Cardinals alone atop the NFC West.
What I liked: Kevin Kolb overcame eight sacks and a crushing fourth-quarter interception to throw the tying touchdown pass with 22 seconds remaining in regulation. This had the feeling of a defining performance for Kolb, who now has two fourth-quarter drives to the tying or winning touchdown this season.
Arizona continued to produce outstanding results with its blitzes from inside linebackers Daryl Washington and Paris Lenon. Washington forced a critical turnover in the final three minutes of regulation. Lenon forced an interception with pressure in overtime.
The Cardinals battled back from a 13-0 halftime deficit to make the game competitive in the third quarter. Kolb's 24-yard throw to Andre Roberts against a Dolphins blitz required quick thinking. That play sustained Arizona's drive, and Kolb finished that drive with a scoring pass to Larry Fitzgerald.
Strong safety Adrian Wilson made big plays in his return from injury. A third-and-long sack in the second half helped keep Arizona in the game. Wilson ran over Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas before taking down quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Wilson also made a diving attempt to pick off a pass. He snatched the back half of the ball. Officials ruled the play a pick, but replays convinced them to reverse the ruling.
Cornerback Greg Toler picked off Tannehill, atoning for what seemed like a debatable interference call against Toler.
The Cardinals made an effective adjustment to quickly take a 14-13 lead in the fourth quarter. They shifted to heavier personnel, ran the ball on first down, then connected on deep play-action passes for Rob Housler (33 yards) and Roberts (46-yard touchdown). Those plays showed what Kolb can do at his best.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson's 61-yard fumble return gave Arizona possession at the Miami 3-yard line while holding a 14-13 lead midway through the fourth quarter. That play seemed to put the Cardinals in prime position to put away the Dolphins, if not for a turnover on Arizona's ensuing possession.
What I didn't like: Cornerback William Gay struggled against Dolphins receiver Davone Bess and others lining up against him, including Brian Hartline. The Cardinals' previous opponents didn't seem to target Gay as frequently. The Dolphins went after him from the beginning and forced the Cardinals to shuffle their personnel. This was the first time Arizona really missed cornerback Richard Marshall, who signed with Miami during the offseason and was on the field for the Dolphins in this game.
Peterson made uncharacteristic blunders as a return specialist. He risked a turnover early by failing to call for a fair catch when there was no room for a return. He muffed other punts. Peterson even fair-caught a ball at the Arizona 3-yard line, an inexplicable lapse. Peterson returned four punts for touchdowns last season. He made little impact as a returner in the first three games and was a negative factor in this one. Perhaps he's trying to do too much.
The running game continued to falter. The Cardinals went to a no-huddle offense for stretches. Ryan Williams wasn't part of that package, further reducing the running threat. Miami entered this game leading the NFL in yards per carry allowed. Arizona was without running back Beanie Wells and tight end Todd Heap. Arizona was one-dimensional on offense.
Rookie right tackle Bobby Massie surrendered three first-half sacks working against Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake. Miami lists Wake at right defensive end, but he has played primarily on the left side this season. That was the case Sunday. Arizona had to help Massie in protection after Wake's fast start. Wake collected a fourth sack against Massie in the fourth quarter when the Cardinals did not help the rookie.
Kolb had been a little careless in the red zone and it finally caught up with him in stunning fashion. The fourth-quarter pick he threw from the 3-yard line proved devastating. Instead of building on a 14-13 lead, the Cardinals watched Tannehill connect with Hartline for an 80-yard touchdown on the next play. A two-point conversion staked Miami to a 21-14 lead, a crushing swing.
Stunning stats: Hartline caught 11 passes for 245 yards and a touchdown. Bess caught seven passes for 123 yards. Tannehill topped 400 yards passing. All this against an Arizona defense that had contained Tom Brady and Michael Vick, while holding all three previous opponents to fewer than 20 points.
Head-scratching decision: The Dolphins' decision to pass the ball while protecting a 21-14 lead in the final three minutes proved costly. Washington sacked Tannehill and forced a fumble. Teammate Vonnie Holliday recovered. Washington has emerged as one of the best defensive players around. Joe Philbin also chose to ice the kicker with a timeout before Feely's winning field goal try, despite some evidence the tactic isn't always effective.
What's next: The Cardinals visit the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night.
Of those 34 players, the San Francisco 49ers' Michael Crabtree finished the 2010 regular season ranked seventh in receptions, eighth in yards and sixth in touchdowns.
The 49ers had reason to expect better from Crabtree, the 10th overall choice and second receiver taken in his draft class. Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. hits on some of the keys for Crabtree heading into the receiver's third season. He sees vast potential for Crabtree in the red zone specifically.
I've put together a couple charts for perspective.
The first chart shows 2010 production for the wide receivers NFL teams selected in the 2009 draft (minimum nine receptions). Note that the St. Louis Rams' Brandon Gibson entered the NFL with Philadelphia.
The second chart shows average 2010 stats by draft round for all wide receivers selected in 2009, minus the Denver Broncos' Kenny McKinley, who passed away in September.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Previously: The draft and meaningful free-agent signings have passed. Trades remain possible, but less likely as training camps approach. Barring a surprise or two, what you see on NFC West rosters is pretty much what you're going to get for the 2009 season. Where are the Rams, 49ers, Seahawks and Cardinals most vulnerable?
Today: I've weaved my thoughts into the conversation and posted the results below. Thanks for participating. We'll begin with the defending NFC champion Cardinals, followed by the 49ers, Seahawks and Rams.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
I've broken out Scouts Inc.'s projected picks for the Seahawks as the NFL draft countdown continues.
The Scouts Inc. mock painted a scenario whereby the Seahawks probably would consider USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. The scenario had Matthew Stafford, Jason Smith and Aaron Curry as the top three overall choices.
That scenario might leave Seattle to weigh Sanchez, Michael Crabtree and the other top prospects. Curry stands out to me as the likely choice for Seattle if he remains available. I think the team would feel good about adding him even though the price tag would be high for a linebacker. The options become a little more complicated, I think, if Curry is gone.
I sent Crabtree to the Seahawks with the fourth overall pick in our bloggers' mock draft because Curry was not available.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Niners area scout Ethan Waugh says the scouting staff has been studying underclassmen in preparation for the draft. Waugh: "There are several underclassmen from my area who declared early. Chris 'Beanie' Wells has been the starting running back at Ohio State the last two years. He is a talented guy who is big, strong and fast. He's been very productive while playing at the highest level of competition. Ohio State also has a receiver, Brian Hartline, who has been a consistent big-play receiver. They are primarily a run-oriented offense, so he does not have the kind of numbers that some receivers do, but is a weapon nonetheless. Donald Washington, also a Buckeye, is a good sized corner that has played both inside and out and shows good speed -- he will be interesting to watch at the Combine."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says former Rams defensive line coach Brian Baker has taken the same job with the Panthers. Former Rams secondary coach Ron Milus is also with the Panthers. Former Panthers linebackers coach Ken Flajole is the Rams' defensive coordinator. Also, 12 of Scott Linehan's 19 former assistants have found work, Thomas notes.
Also from Thomas: The Rams had nice things to say about Corey Chavous upon releasing the veteran safety. General manager Billy Devaney: "When it became clear to us that we were going to move in a different direction, we thought out of respect for Corey, and to give him the best chance to explore all his options, that this was the best time to make this move. Corey Chavous epitomizes everything that's good about the NFL. He's classy, smart, hard-working. He gave it his all. The team always came first."
Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says Linehan brought Chavous to St. Louis after getting to know him in Minnesota.
Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind says re-signing Karlos Dansby should be the Cardinals' top priority this offseason. He advocates naming Dansby the team's franchise player again. Hawkwind: "If the Cardinals tag Dansby (deadline to tag is the 19th), they are the only team that can negotiate with him and they have until the middle of July to agree to a contract. If they chose not to franchise him by next Thursday, though, he'll put the pressure squarely on the shoulder of Rod Graves." Dansby would be able to negotiate with other teams as a non-exclusive franchise player, but the tag would probably dissuade other teams from negotiating.
Scott Allen of Raising Zona qoutes KTAR radio in Phoenix as saying the Cardinals are expected to name linebackers coach Bill Davis their defensive coordinator. Coach Ken Whisenhunt told the Arizona Republic he planned to have his staff filled out before the combine next week. The Republic also suggested Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler could be a consideration.
Doug Farrar of Field Gulls summarizes a scout.com interview with Missouri defensive tackle Evander "Ziggy" Hood. According to Hood, Seahawks brass and coaches grilled him to test his knowledge of the defense, including his teammates' responsibilities. The Seahawks' new defensive staff has put an emphasis on players knowing their teammates' assignments.
Chris Sullivan of Seahawk Addicts breaks down the team's needs on offense. He gives T.J. Duckett higher marks than Julius Jones.