NFC West Rankings: Where do the Cardinals stand after the 2022 NFL Draft?

(Photo by Michael Chow-Arizona Republic/USA TODAY NETWORK) Zach Ertz
(Photo by Michael Chow-Arizona Republic/USA TODAY NETWORK) Zach Ertz /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Kyler Murray /

Key losses: Chandler Jones. Key Additions: Marquise Brown. 2. 32. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. ArizonaCardinals. player

Cardinals show up at second in the NFC West

This isn’t a statement that the Cardinals are atmospheres above the 49ers. If there were a way to assign a “low-end second place,” then it would be said.

But the Cardinals were held hostage by the Kyler Murray extension talks, and every time the team would try to focus on something (the combine, free agency, and then the draft), Murray and his agent would fire a shot heard ’round the NFL world.

This is why the Cardinals couldn’t do much in free agency. Fans hoping the team would make a splash signing or two (myself included) were reminded that the team plays in the desert. Nothing happened.

The loss of DeAndre Hopkins for six games gives this wide receiving corps the feeling of 2019 all over again. Back when Larry Fitzgerald was the best wide receiver by a mile on this team, and no one else came close.

Now, the receivers are all similar, and no one stands above the rest. Steve Keim’s negligence in not getting a cornerback is one of the things that’s going to frustrate Cardinals fans down the road this season.

Prediction: Arizona will be missing the playoffs by one game, and that crucial game will come early in the season, thanks to Hopkins’ suspension.