Pair of unheralded Arizona Cardinals receivers kept the group afloat in 2023

The Arizona Cardinals wide receivers weren’t the worst in the NFL in 2023, but only because two unheralded players narrowly rescued them.

Dec 31, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Wilson (14)
Dec 31, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Wilson (14) / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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Marquise Brown was supposed to be the guy for the Arizona Cardinals receiving corps in 2023. What they got was an ultra-pedestrian receiver who dealt with a heel injury during the latter portion of the season. But even before the injury hampered Brown, he was still struggling, despite finishing second on the team in receptions and receiving yards. 

Brown had 51 catches in 14 games, or 3.6 per contest, but that number was terrible when you consider Cardinals quarterbacks targeted him 101 times. He showed us that he’s nowhere near the No. 1 receiver Arizona brass was hoping he would be, and if nobody else stepped up this season, this group would have received a failing grade. 

Rondale Moore and Zach Pascal were also underachievers, with Moore amassing 40 catches for 352 yards and a score while Pascal had just four catches on 15 targets for 19 yards. Therefore, you can guess that neither Moore nor Pascal helped the Cardinals, but Michael Wilson and Greg Dortch had other ideas.

Two unheralded Arizona Cardinals receivers saved the group

We talked about how poor of a decision it was to restrict Greg Dortch’s playing time on offense until late in the season. While he didn’t reach as many receiving yards as Rondale Moore, he came just 72 shy of the former second-round pick’s stat line despite diminished playing time for nearly two-thirds of the season. 

Michael Wilson was one of the best in the Arizona Cardinals 2023 rookie class, and he more than made his presence known in Week 4 with seven catches on seven targets and two touchdowns. Wilson put up serviceable numbers in the weeks following that game, but an injury kept him out of a few contests and he struggled upon returning. 

He also finished the season with 10 catches, 130 yards, and a touchdown in the final two games, and that also factored into the team’s overall receiving unit snagging a C-minus for the year. If it wasn’t for Wilson and Dortch coming up big late in the season, the Redbirds receivers would have likely ranked 32nd in a 32-team league. 

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(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)