Top 5 receivers the Arizona Cardinals can draft to replace DeAndre Hopkins

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The Arizona Cardinals could trade DeAndre Hopkins by the time the NFL Draft rolls around in just nine days. And they will need to replace him.

You’d think the Arizona Cardinals would pull off a trade regarding DeAndre Hopkins before the NFL Draft. But as it stands, he is still on the team. Even if he remains a Cardinal following the draft, don’t be surprised if the Redbirds still part ways with him, as it’s grown rather clear he’d rather be somewhere else

You also shouldn’t be surprised if Ossenfort drafted a player with more size than the primary receivers they have on the roster to replace Hopkins. So which receivers could wind up as good fits for Big Red? Here are five names to be aware of. 

5 receivers Arizona Cardinals can draft to replace Hopkins

1 - Rashee Rice, SMU

The Arizona Cardinals could go in Rashee Rice’s direction if they decide to roll with a receiver in the second round, especially when they end up snagging a second rounder for Hopkins. The 6’1, 200lb Rice doesn’t carry a tremendous amount of size, but his improved production on an annual basis should be convincing enough for general manager Monti Ossenfort to consider. 

Last season, Rice was all-world, snatching 96 catches for 1,355 yards, and 10 touchdowns, plus 14.1 yards per reception. This came on the heels of a 64 catch season for 670 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 10.5 yards per catch.  

2 - A.T. Perry, Wake Forest

If the Arizona Cardinals are looking for pristine production, they should look no further than A.T. Perry. The 6’4, 203lb Perry was a force over his last two seasons, amassing 71 receptions for 1,293 yards, and 15 touchdowns for an astounding 18.2 yards per reception. 

For an encore, Perry logged 81 catches, 1,096 yards, and 11 touchdowns, with a major dropoff in yards per catch from 18.2 to 13.5. But his size and production says it all if you’re Monti Ossenfort and you want a large-bodied receiver to replace the soon-to-be departing Hopkins. . 

3 - Elijah Higgins, Stanford

At 6’3, 235lb, Elijah Higgins could fool you thanks to his tight end build. He averaged just 11.6 yards per catch, so he is more of that possession receiver the Arizona Cardinals could use. 

And while his six career touchdown catches are uninspiring, he logged 99 receptions between 2021 and 2022 for 1,204 yards. Respectable numbers, to say the least. 

4 - Jonathan Mingo, Mississippi

At 6’2, 215lb, Jonathan Mingo would be an adequate developmental piece to replace Hopkins in time. He could have been an early-round pick, but injuries saw him play just 21 games between 2019 and 2021 at Mississippi. 

Finally healthy for 2022, Mingo appeared in 13 games, hauling in 51 catches for 861 yards, and five touchdowns. While there are better pieces on this list, Mingo could turn out to be an excellent consolation piece if Monti Ossenfort waits to pick a potential Hopkins replacement in the late rounds. 

5 - Charlie Jones, Purdue

I know, I know, the last receiver the Arizona Cardinals picked from Purdue wasn’t the best option, as Rondale Moore, while productive at times, hasn’t lived to expectations. But Charlie Jones, a late-bloomer, played far more inspiring football for the Boilermakers. 

Sure, his numbers were rather dreadful over his first three seasons, but he broke out in his lone year at Purdue, logging 110 catches for 1,361 yards and 12 touchdowns. While other receivers on this list have adequate size, Jones lacks it, but he still possesses a larger frame than Moore, Marquise Brown, or Greg Dortch. 

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(Statistics provided by Sports-Reference/CFB)