Cecil Shorts, Michael Floyd next Camp Fitzgerald stars?


Arizona Cardinals superstar Larry Fitzgerald's summer camp has developed a reputation as a PhD course for wide receivers, having propelled big names such as Brandon Marshall, Greg Jennings, Sidney Rice and Dwayne Bowe to breakout NFL seasons.

Fitzgerald books the hotel rooms, provides lunch and gains access to the University of Minnesota's fields and weight room. Instructors have included legends Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin, Cris Carter and Roy Green.

Camp Fitzgerald stresses attention to detail, time management and technique. Perhaps more importantly, it serves as a bridge from offseason workouts to training camp, allowing the players to stay in peak physical condition.

"(Fitzgerald) works his butt off," 2011 breakout receiver Laurent Robinson explained to the Cardinals' official website last summer. "He works like he's going to get cut the next day. It's a lot of work, but you have to train with the best to be the best."

Other "graduates" of Fitzgerald's camp include Eric Decker, Jermichael Finley, Kyle Rudolph, Golden Tate, Steve Breaston and Lee Evans.

Although we've yet to see the full list of players involved this year, the two strongest breakout candidates are Cecil Shorts of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fitzgerald's teammate, Michael Floyd.

Around The League's Dan Hanzus recently outlined Floyd's chances of making the leap this season.

Despite playing less than 50 percent of the snaps every game until Week 7, Shorts fell just 21 yards shy of 1,000 after participating in last year's camp. Two late-season concussions helped keep him under the national radar.

That will change this season. Shorts has added seven pounds of muscle to emulate Fitzgerald's power and ability to get off the jam at the line of scrimmage.

"Fitzgerald is the ideal pro," Shorts said, via Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com. "He's an extremely hard worker, extremely humble. He's the professional of all professionals. He gets it. You can see why he's one of the best. I want to work to get there."

While Justin Blackmon faces a four-game suspension and recovery from groin surgery, Shorts is entrenched as the Jaguars' No. 1 receiver.

Take a look as NFL fantasy editor Michael Fabiano ranks his top 30 fantasy football players for your 2013 roster.

"I like Cecil Shorts," new Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said after seeing him in offseason practices. "Put it down. I'm a good evaluator."

Fantasy leaguers shouldn't let Jacksonville's quarterback morass scare them off Shorts this summer. The film suggests he's 90 percent of Victor Cruz, and the metrics show a yards-per-snap figure higher than those of Andre Johnson, A.J. Green, Dez Bryant and Julio Jones.

In other words, few outside of Duval County realize Shorts already has enjoyed his breakout season.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.