Live From Indy: Cards Meet Privately with WR

Amberly Richardson reports from Indianapolis that the Cardinals spent closed-door time a receiver whom they already scouted once at the Senior Bowl. Cardinalinsider.com explains what this player has done to deserve a second look and analyzes what he could bring to the Arizona offense.

The Arizona Cardinals used a private scheduled meeting with California WR Lavelle Hawkins, who may be the most overlooked receiver in this year's draft. Hawkins enjoyed a fantastic senior season, despite taking a backseat to teammate DeSean Jackson most of the year. Hawkins led the Bears with 72 catches for 872 yards and six touchdowns. He excelled on kick returns, averaging 22 yards per return and added one touchdown. Hawkins racked up 1,854 all-purpose yards in 2007, ranking third all-time in school history.

Although Jackson is rated higher on most draft boards, Hawkins was the one turning heads at the Senior Bowl last month. Hawkins' terrific hand-eye coordination and leaping ability fuel his outstanding playmaking skills. He connected on numerous highlight reel catches during Senior Bowl week and vastly improved his draft stock. Hawkins hopes to carry that momentum through this weekend's NFL Combine.

Hawkins' excellent combination of speed and athleticism allows him to stretch the field against the opposition. He also possesses the quickness and reliable hands needed by a possession receiver at the professional level. Hawkins is a crisp route runner and features great awareness in the receiver position. While some NFL teams are just now discovering his all-around talent, Hawkins' self confidence has never wavered.

"I can pretty much do it all. I'm like Anquan Boldin," Hawkins said.

Hawkins respects Boldin's style of play and feels he possesses many similar characteristics of the Cardinals star wide receiver. Much like Boldin, his ability to line up outside or in the slot provides added value to prospective NFL teams. Hawkins also admires Boldin's competitive nature and knack for making spectacular catches.

"I like Boldin because he's going to catch the hard balls and he plays real nasty."

Hawkins would provide Arizona with versatility and the speed for various formations and personnel packages. He could contribute immediately to the team's wide receiving corps and would supply the Cardinals special teams with an additional weapon alongside second-year return man Steve Breaston. Hawkins has been working out in Arizona this off-season and feels he would be a good fit in the desert next year.

With Cardinals WR Bryant Johnson likely gone via free agency, GM Rod Graves is prepared to invest a first-day pick on a wide receiver. Hawkins' exceptional all-around talent will likely garner strong consideration on draft day.


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