Arizona Cardinals pass-catching unit would be okay without DeAndre Hopkins

Philadelphia Eagles v Arizona Cardinals
Philadelphia Eagles v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages

As the DeAndre Hopkins rumors continue, there is a lot of concern in the Arizona Cardinals fanbase regarding the state of the team’s receivers.

The Arizona Cardinals will likely trade DeAndre Hopkins, barring something unforeseen. And yes, they will either get their asking price or something close to it, regardless of what others in the media are saying. 

Of course, trading Hopkins could translate into a gaping hole for the Cards, as he was their star receiver for the greater part of three seasons. Further, quarterback Kyler Murray was often a different player with Hopkins in the lineup. Without Hopkins, Murray’s play, for the most part, regressed, and it makes sense to fear the same thing will happen if the receiver leaves the desert. 

But you need to consider that this is a different Arizona Cardinals team led by different people. Under former head coach Kliff Kingsbury, the Redbirds ran an “Air Raid” style attack that Murray was ill-equipped for, and Hopkins was often there to bail him out. 

Under new head coach Jonathan Gannon and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing, Arizona’s scheme is changing. With a Murray-friendly approach, the quarterback won’t need so many bailouts, which will best help him elevate the talent around him. 

Arizona Cardinals receivers will be more than serviceable in 2023

Before we focus on the receivers, let’s talk about tight ends Zach Ertz and Trey McBride. The latter made leaps and bounds last season when the former went down with an ACL injury, and if Ertz can return strong, Murray has two solid pass-catchers to work with in Hopkins’ absence. 

No one stepped up more earlier in the season than Greg Dortch, who logged 20 of his 52 receptions in Weeks 1 through 3 in 2022. Further, Marquise Brown stepped up and showed he could be a WR1 in this league, while Rondale Moore, when healthy, also showed flashes of brilliance. 

The Cardinals needed some size, so they went out and signed Zach Pascal, who despite a down year in 2022, has also seen success in this league. And finally, they have Auden Tate, who could be a deep sleeper in the lineup. Many fans forget that Tate had a decent year in 2019 when he caught 40 passes for 575 yards and a touchdown. 

And don’t forget, the Cardinals could still add to the receiving room through the NFL Draft. So in the event Hopkins goes elsewhere, Arizona, at least on paper, is more than equipped to make up for his absence. 

Related. Monti Ossenfort correct to keep asking price high for Hopkins. dark

(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)