Arizona Cardinals rookie wide receiver John Brown made our preseason Week 1 "winners" list after tormenting the Texans defense for 87 yards and a 39-yard interference penalty on five catches and a team-high 10 targets in one half of action.
As we discussed on Monday's edition of the Around The League Podcast, Cardinals color analyst Ron Wolfley offered high praise, comparing the third-round rookie to future Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison.
In terms of instant NFL impact, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim has a different comparison at the ready.
"I haven't seen a rookie come in and do what he's done -- and it's early still -- since Anquan Boldin," Keim told Grantland's Robert Mays on Monday. "This guy came through the first day, and being from Pittsburg State, has uncanny instincts, unbelievable understanding of route concepts, leverage, being in the right spot at the right time. On top of great ball skills, he has unusual speed and explosiveness."
Keim's comments are an extension of his early-camp assessment that Brown has essentially been uncoverable.
"He had five for 87 in the first half (against Houston)," Keim continued. "If you watch the film, he probably should have had seven or eight for about 200."
With Michael Floyd poised to join perennial Pro Bowl selection Larry Fitzgerald as a target hog, we were initially skeptical that Brown would have a major role as a rookie.
After hearing a steady stream of accolades from the Cardinals throughout camp and watching Brown get open at will on Preseason Live, we now believe he could join Sammy Watkins, Brandin Cooks, Jordan Matthews and Kelvin Benjamin as the shining stars in a loaded rookie wide receiver class.
All of which raises a more interesting point: Which team does Fitzgerald play for in 2015 when the Cardinals balk at his $23.6 million salary cap figure?
*The latest Around The League Podcast highlights the winners and losers from the first week of preseason action. *