The Arizona Cardinals traded a first-round pick for former first-round pick Marquise Brown on Thursday night during the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Arizona Cardinals have not had a decent track record with their previous first-round draft picks. Kyler Murray and Isaiah Simmons are serviceable, but neither have become dominant players respective of their draft status.
Zaven Collins played sparingly last season, and we don’t even want to talk about Josh Rosen, Haason Reddick, or Robert Nkemdiche. It is fair to say that Steve Keim is not well-versed in selecting sound first-round picks.
The solution? Why not just trade the pick for a proven player like Marquise Brown? And it couldn’t have worked out better. The 25th overall pick in 2019 had a career year last season, hauling in 91 receptions for 1,008 yards and six touchdowns. Still just 24 years old, it is safe to say the Cardinals hit a ringer with this one.
How Marquise Brown fits into the Arizona Cardinals offense
A tiny speedster, Brown will immediately line up in the slot and use his speed to open things up for DeAndre Hopkins and Zach Ertz. Plus, he gives Kyler Murray a legitimate deep threat, but he is also someone Murray can hit underneath as well.
Brown also provides legitimate insurance for the Cardinals. Last season, Hopkins went down with a hamstring injury and it derailed both his and the Cardinals’ 2021 campaign. Brown’s presence will prevent catastrophe if Hopkins again struggles with injury.
Last season, the Cardinals relied on Christian Kirk, who performed well in Hopkins’ absence. But now that Kirk is in Jacksonville, the Cardinals lacked an experienced playmaker to take over as the WR1 if Hopkins’ injury issues persist. They already had Rondale Moore and brought back A.J. Green, but neither are legitimate go-to receivers.
Brown, despite his small size, can line up as a WR1, but ideally, the Cardinals will keep him in the slot to run both deep and underneath routes. He boasts the versatility that few NFL receivers have. That is what makes him dangerous, and it is why he will become an immediate contributor to the Arizona Cardinals.