Arizona Cardinals wide receivers contingent is one of the NFL's worst

A highly disappointing group of wide receivers is impeding the progress of the Arizona Cardinals scoring attack in 2023.
Arizona Cardinals v Houston Texans
Arizona Cardinals v Houston Texans / Logan Riely/GettyImages

Since Monti Ossenfort took over as the general manager of the Arizona Cardinals, the team has taken on a whole new look. The main goal of the front office was to clean up the mess that was left behind by Ossenfort's predecessor, Steve Keim. Some wholesale changes have taken place, but one particular area of the Cards roster was left mostly intact.

Arizona's current group of wide receivers doesn't look a whole lot different than the crew that hauled in passes for the Redbirds in 2022. In fact, three of the top four at the position on this week's depth chart were with the squad last season. Jonathan Gannon showed faith in the trio by keeping them around, but it's safe to say that the first-year coaching staff was expecting much more out of those holdovers from the previous regime.

The "number-one" wideout in the Cardinals locker room these days is Marquise Brown, a former first-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens. The 5 foot 9,180 pounder is the Cards leading receiver on the stat sheet, but his overall contributions to the scoring attack have been underwhelming. Brown will be a free agent at the end of the year, and it appears highly unlikely that "Hollywood" will be back with the squad in 2024.

Then there's Rondale Moore, the tiny speedster who Keim wasted a valuable second-round selection on back in 2021. The Cards found out fairly quickly that the 5 foot 7,180 pounder was never going to be highly productive at the professional level. Moore won't be eligible for free agency until 2025, but it's looking more and more like the 23-year-old may not play in another contest for the team beyond this season.

Arizona Cardinals wide receivers room could look much different in 2024

The third member of that threesome, Greg Dortch, could qualify as the unsung hero of the crew. The 25-year-old has just recently begun to be utilized in the passing game after contributing primarily as Arizona's kick returner for most of the 2023 campaign. Dortch's lack of size (5 foot 7,175 pounds), however, is the one thing that can limit his effectiveness going forward.

Rookie Michael Wilson can bring both great hands and physicality to the equation, but his susceptibility to injury is a bit concerning. Free-agent addition Zach Pascal has contributed on special teams, but the 28-year-old's time as a viable pass-catcher could very well be over.

Any chance of "Big Red" actually winning a decent amount of games in '23 went out the window when Ossenfort unceremoniously released DeAndre Hopkins back in May. The 31-year-old is heading toward a 1000-yard receiving campaign with the lowly Tennessee Titans, and is averaging an impressive 15.5 yards per catch. Management would tell you that Hopkins wasn't worth the money he was scheduled to make, but Cards quarterback Kyler Murray would probably beg to differ.

A reconfiguration of the wide receivers room should be a top priority for Ossenfort and his cohorts next offseason. Wilson and Dortch have earned the right to stay, but Brown, Moore and Pascal have so much more to show management during the final five games. One thing's for certain, the thought of Marvin Harrison Jr. making his NFL home with the Cardinals organization is becoming more appealing by the day.


(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)