The Arizona Cardinals boast one of the best receivers in the game, DeAndre Hopkins, but his absence for six games raises some questions.
Three of the top four receiving options for Kyler Murray in 2021 are still with the team. DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, and Rondale Moore will return with the fourth-year quarterback for another round.
Christian Kirk left in free agency for a surprise mega-deal from the Jacksonville Jaguars that put him in the tier of top-paid receivers.
DeAndre Hopkins is clearly the No. 1 option in the wide receiver room. Still, the news of his six-game suspension for PEDs put a damper on expectations for this position group in 2021. It most likely necessitated the Arizona Cardinals’ one significant move this off-season.
During the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Cards surprised the league by trading away the No. 23 pick for Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown.
Brown will likely be relied on to replace a good deal of the production lost by the absence of Hopkins in the early part of the season. After a 1,000+ yard season in 2021, he has many of the skillsets required to accomplish that.
Moore had some flashes in his rookie campaign and should be primed for an increased role in the slot after losing Kirk.
A.J. Green was enjoying a resurgence of his career in Arizona early last season but dipped off as the season progressed and as he became expected to fill in the No. 1 role with the injured Hopkins being out of the lineup.
Better, Equal, or Worse?
If Marquise Brown can live up to expectations and pull the Cardinals through the first six weeks of the season without Hopkins, the wide receiver group should be on solid ground.
After the return of their No. 1 option, the Cardinals will field one of the most interesting receiver rooms in the league.
Overall, this position has gotten better with the addition of Brown and the re-signing of A.J. Green.