Over the past three years, the Arizona Cardinals have tried in vain to add productive wide receivers through the NFL Draft. Four pass-catchers have been selected during that time period, but not one player out of the group has been a difference-maker for the squad. Could Cards general manager Steve Keim take another crack at the position when the first round gets underway this coming spring?
Thanks to a disappointing 8-8 finish this past fall, Arizona is currently in possession of the opening round’s 16th-overall choice. Fortunately for Keim, there are several talented pass-catchers who could be available when the organization prepares to make their top pick. The following are a few of the prospects who could tempt the Cardinals brass on April 29th.
LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase could quite possibly be the best of the bunch. As a sophomore in 2019, the 6’0, 208 pounder hauled in 84 passes for 1,780 yards and an amazing 20 touchdown receptions. Chase opted out of the 2020 season, reportedly so he could begin preparing for his professional football career.
Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle could be another possible target for the Cards front office. The 5’10, 182 pounder totaled 106 catches for 1,999 yards and 17 scores during his three campaigns with the Crimson Tide. Waddle was voted First-Team All-SEC in 2019, and Second-Team All-SEC this past season.
A teammate of Waddle’s, Alabama receiver Devonta Smith, could also be an option for Arizona. The 6’1,175 pounder was spectacular during his senior year, registering 117 receptions, 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns in his 13 appearances for the squad in 2020. In his four seasons at the school, Waddle was credited with 235 catches, 3,965 receiving yards and an eye-popping 46 trips into the end zone.
One more wideout worth mentioning is the University of Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman. The 6’2, 210 pounder caught 147 passes for 2,395 yards and 19 touchdowns in 31 career contests for the Golden Gophers. Bateman was voted First-Team All-Big Ten in 2019, and Third-Team All-Big Ten in 2020.