Cardinals’ WR corps ranked only 16th by PFF

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The Arizona Cardinals believe they have one of the most dynamic wide receiver rooms in the NFL. They have DeAndre Hopkins, even though he will miss the first six games of the season with a suspension for testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance. They have A.J. Green, who had over 850 receiving yards last season. They have Marquise Brown, whom they acquired via trade. He had over 1,000 receiving yards with the Baltimore Ravens in 2021, and then have Rondale Moore, the 2021 second-round speedster the team absolutely loves.

Add in tight ends Zach Ertz and rookie Trey McBride, and the Cardinals look like they have one of the best groups of pass catchers in the league.

Pro Football Focus doesn’t think so. It ranked all 32 teams’ receiving corps and the Cardinals come in only 16th, at the bottom of the tier of “strong overall with a weak point or two.”

The Cardinals’ receiving corps for 2022 moves up or down depending on how much you want to factor in DeAndre Hopkins’ six-game suspension to start the season. Arizona’s offense ranked fourth in Expected Points Added (EPA) per play for the 10 weeks that Hopkins played, dropping to 18th in the weeks he missed. His presence in the lineup matters. 

The addition of Marquise Brown via trade — Kyler Murray’s college teammate — should help, even if the trade looked like an overpay on the surface. Brown should fit in nicely to the vertical slot role occupied by Christian Kirk in 2021. The Cardinals have also put together three quality tight ends in Zach Ertz, Maxx Williams and Trey McBride who will allow them to mix and match personnel groupings. 

They rank at the bottom of the NFC West, with the 49ers coming in at sixth overall, the Rams seventh and the Seahawks 13th.

Things do look different for the Cardinals when Hopkins is not on the field, but because they have an offseason to adjust things, their receivers are still solid. They have both speed with Brown and Moore and length with Green. They have matchup problems with Ertz and McBride. Add Hopkins to the mix in Week 7 and the passing game appears unguardable.

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