State of the Arizona Cardinals pass catchers
The Arizona Cardinals need a lot of help at receiver and tight end. Sure, it sounds ironic, considering the fact they have one of the best in the game with DeAndre Hopkins. But really, who else is there?
Larry Fitzgerald‘s future is up in the air. Christian Kirk is a physically-gifted underachiever. Andy Isabella hasn’t shown us much apart from a few splash plays. KeeSean Johnson rose on the depth chart because there was no one else for a couple of games. And Trent Sherfield barely saw the field on offense.
At tight end, the Cardinals have a solid option with Dan Arnold. But Arnold has shown little to prove he’s anything more than a TE2. Maxx Williams is a great blocker, but he isn’t much of an asset in the passing game. Ditto for Darrell Daniels.
And so far, the Cardinals only have Williams signed through 2021 in the tight end department. So they have a huge need for the position.
Now for the good news. Fitzgerald is still a great possession receiver. So if he returns, he can haul in most of his targets, having caught 54 of his 72 targets. He won’t make a big play, but he remains a valuable asset.
Kirk has made plays but he has proven he’s nothing more than a third or even a fourth receiver. Kirk also hasn’t proven to have the most reliable hands, catching 159 of his 255 targets, for a catch rate of 62.5 percent. He has also logged fewer than 50 receptions in two of his three seasons.
The Cardinals need a solid number two option. And it’d be great if they could somehow land a guy like DeVonta Smith. But let’s be reasonable. They’d have to give up a lot to draft Smith, who is a surefire top ten pick.
But look for an upgrade at receiver and tight end either through free agency or the NFL Draft. They desperately need a legitimate number two target to line up opposite of Hopkins or a solid tight end to keep defenses from keying on their star receiver.
They also have adequate number three and four options in Kirk and Fitzgerald if they’re around in 2021. But if they can get quarterback Kyler Murray another solid weapon in the passing game, watch Murray breakout in Year Three.
No, he hasn’t broken out yet. He’s good. But let’s cut down on the interceptions, hit the 30-touchdown pass mark, and lead the Cardinals to the playoffs before we give him a breakout season. And another solid receiver or tight end will get him there.