We all think Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray will return and make a huge impact, so he’s a shoo-in for a player predicted to enjoy a strong second half to 2023. Or in his case, a strong half, since he was forced to miss the first half of the year given his rehab from a torn ACL.
But since Murray is an obvious choice here, he’s not listed in today’s piece. Instead, there are two pass-catchers who will benefit from Murray’s return. One had an epic second half last season, and another is a familiar face who knows Murray quite well.
Sandwiched between the pair is a player who has stepped up time and again and has been a force on defense. No, it’s neither Budda Baker nor Jalen Thompson, but a newcomer who has fared quite well so far in 2023.
3 Arizona Cardinals players who could have a huge second half to season
1 - Trey McBride, TE
Trey McBride has put up a good year with two so-so (at best) passers throwing him the ball. But 28 catches throughout the first half of the 2023 season shatters anything McBride did over the first nine games of the year in 2022, and now that he will have a returning Kyler Murray, look for McBride to reap the benefits.
As a tight end, he could be a major target when the Cards make what should be several trips inside the 20-yard line, and he will be a factor in goal-to-go situations. And remember, we have seen McBride take snaps in the backfield, so he could also sneak into the flats as an H-back should the Cards opt to go with two-back sets.
McBride’s fair PFF Grade of 67.4 should see an uptick starting this week, and there is a strong possibility he finishes among the top 15 tight ends this season.