GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Being the fourth receiver isn’t a glamorous job.
He can go unnoticed, underappreciated and be the underdog.
But Jaron Brown has made a career out of it the past two seasons. For the third straight training camp, Brown is fighting for a spot as the Cards’ fourth receiver on the 53-man roster. On Tuesday, Brown stated his case.
He made an electric one-handed grab over two defenders against the sideline that brought the crowd inside University of Phoenix Stadium alive. He came down hard and had the breath knocked out of him, causing him to leave the field.
But Brown called it his “best impression” of Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
“It was a good catch,” he said.
With Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown ahead of Brown on the depth chart, his competition is talented -- but they all share a desire for competition, especially when it comes to making highlight reel-worthy catches.
“We’re always competing,” Brown said. “It’s a friendly competition. But we’re always trying to outdo each other. I make a good catch, Larry’s trying to make a good catch, Mike’s trying to make the next one and then John Brown. So, it’s really a competition.”
After Tuesday’s haul, Brown is the clear leader four days into camp.
But Brown understands what’s required of him to make the roster in 2015: consistency and as few mistakes as possible. He’s used to proving himself as an undrafted free agent.
“Being the third year coming up [I’m] just trying to really elevate my game to the next level,” he said.
He’s found a niche with 14 of his 32 targets coming on third downs and 12 of them coming in the fourth quarter. Last season he caught 22 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns.
If he continues to be a consistent option for any of Arizona’s quarterbacks, a spot on the 53 is almost a certainty. And those catches just help his cause.
“I’m the underdog all the time,” he said.