Updated: Apr 29, 2020
A generational player, and a wide receiver for the ages.
The Arizona Cardinals made the best choice they’ve ever made on April 24, 2004. With the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, they selected Larry Fitzgerald, a wide receiver out of Pittsburgh University.
After two years at Pitt, he had amassed a total of 2,677 yards to go along with 34 touchdown receptions. Ever since has been history. Unlike many flashy wide receivers of Fitzgerald’s time, number 11 has stayed loyal to the team that drafted him over his fifteen year career. And oh are the Cardinals happy about that. Fitzgerald sits second all time in receiving yards with an eye opening 16,279, sixth all time with 116 touchdowns, and third with 1,303 receptions. To be cliche, when you look up consistency in the dictionary, you find a picture of Larry Fitzgerald. Nine seasons with over 1,000 yards, and eight with at least 90 receptions. How many games has he missed over his entire career? six.
“I always use negative experiences-things that I’ve experienced over the course of my life-to serve as a reminder.”
At 6’3” Fitzgerald doesn’t have dominant height. His 218 lbs don’t let him bully opponents either. His 4.48 40 yard dash put him 11th among wide receivers in his draft combine. So why is Larry Fitzgerald where he is today? Simple, hard work, grit, and determination. Great players build off of disappointment, and that’s exactly what Fitzgerald has done. In an interview with Larry King, Fitzgerald mentioned that the Cardinals 2008 Super Bowl loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers still haunts him. But he was also quoted for saying, “I always use negative experiences-things that I’ve experienced over the course of my life-to serve as a reminder.” It’s a reminder for Fitzgerald to keep fighting, pushing, and striving to be the best. For the rest of us though, it’s a reminder of how good we all have it, getting to watch Larry Fitzgerald take the field every Sunday, September through December, for the past decade and a half.