Major outlet ignores obvious talent in 2023 Arizona Cardinals receiving unit

Arizona Cardinals v Atlanta Falcons
Arizona Cardinals v Atlanta Falcons / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

Even in a projected down year like 2023, the Arizona Cardinals still have a few position groups that they can identify as strengths.

Even with DeAndre Hopkins off the table, the Arizona Cardinals still possess a sound receiving unit. But that hasn’t stopped Trevor Sikkema of PFF from giving them a poor spot in their annual ranking of the league’s 32 receiving corps. 

Not only did Sikkema rank the Cardinals group in the latter half of the league, they pegged them into the bottom five with a 28th overall ranking. Here is a snippet of what Sikkema said in their piece:

"“The top of their depth chart features Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore and Greg Dortch, making up one of the smaller receiver rooms (if not the smallest) in the league. It’s hard to really boast this group, but if you do, it will be on the basis of dynamic after-the-catch ability.”"

Trevor Sikkema

It’s curious that Sikkema either overlooked or never bothered to consider the fact that the Cardinals have a bigger receiving room than otherwise implied. Michael Wilson, Zach Pascal, Daniel Arias III, Brian Cobbs, and Brandon Smith all bring size. And while Wilson and Pascal are the only two with surefire roster spots, you can expect one of the latter three to snag a spot as the sixth, or seventh receiver if the Cards also look to keep Andre Baccellia. 

Arizona Cardinals receiving corps better than what PFF thinks

Marquise Brown is by far the most underrated starting receiver in the NFL. Over the past two seasons, he’s logged 158 receptions in just 28 games, good for 5.64 catches per contest. He also has 1,717 receiving yards, a catch percentage of 62.45%, and nine touchdowns in that span.

If Brown is the most underrated WR1 in the game, then Greg Dortch is the most underrated overall. Sure, he’s small, even smaller than Brown at just 5’7, but he also logged 52 receptions on 64 targets in just 513 snaps, putting him at just 45% of all possible snaps he could have played this season. Had Dortch played in just 70% of those snaps, he’s likely hauling in at least 65 catches. Dortch also had a pair of touchdowns and 467 receiving yards. 

We already know Michael Wilson has been beyond impressive so far, and that could translate into training camp. But I also wanted to talk about Rondale Moore. While injury-prone, Moore still logged 41 receptions in eight contests last year, which also averages to just over five per game, for 414 yards (10.1 yards per reception), and a score. 

Overall, we should put little stock into what they’re saying about the Arizona Cardinals at PFF. Clearly, the Redbirds receiving unit is better than what they are letting on, as the numbers show. While I’ll concede they won’t be anywhere near as productive without Kyler Murray under center, at least in the short run, this unit has productive players all over the field, with one on the way in Wilson. 

Source: 2023 NFL receiving corps rankings: Cincinnati Bengals take the top spot for the second year in a row by Trevor Sikkema,

(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)