Following NFL draft, Cardinals’ offensive ceiling has exponentially increased

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Following a quiet free agency, many Arizona Cardinals fans were growing frustrated with the team’s lack of signings and additions. While they were able to re-sign most of their core free agents, they let two key players from last season go without replacing them, those being Chandler Jones and Christian Kirk.

In the past week, however, those sentiments have quickly changed for many. The Cardinals made a shocking trade Thursday night when they sent the 23rd overall pick for Ravens star receiver Hollywood Brown.

Perhaps an equally surprising move was their second round selection of Trey McBride, the consensus top tight end prospect from this year’s class. In a tight end room that already features Zach Ertz and Maxx Williams, it was initially shocking to see the Cardinals technically spend their first draft pick on a tight end.

Following the surprise and discontent from some fans, however, the McBride’s potential was very obviously too good to pass up. Many are comparing his game to that of 49ers’ star George Kittle.

The addition of two standout receiving threats gives the Cardinals a better group of offensive skill position players than they had in 2021, which is saying a ton considering they were the No. 1 statistical offense in the league prior to injuries to both Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins.

The wide receiver room now features Hopkins, Hollywood Brown, Rondale Moore and A.J. Green. Having Green, who had over 800 yards receiving last year (with some missed time) as WR4 illustrates the surplus of firepower general manager Steve Keim is providing the offense. Antoine Wesley, who flashed towards the end of last season, is also a notable name there.

The running back group took a hit with the loss of Chase Edmonds to Miami, but the lead man is still Pro Bowler James Conner. Third-year pro Eno Benjamin figures today to be the No. 2 back, though the team has recently looked at free agent RB Darrell Williams.

The tight end room is arguably as impressive as the receiving room, with 3x Pro-Bowler Zach Ertz leading the charge. Maxx Williams, who was playing great football prior to injury is an excellent complement in both the passing attack and run game. Both of those two should be great help to the newest member of the room in Trey McBride.

The group of skill position players is, as of right now, absurdly talented. Defenses will still focus primarily on containing Hopkins, but the plethora of other playmakers makes that so difficult to do. And if they do shift coverage away from Hop, leaving him one-on-one, that’s where the ball is going.

If the group can maintain relative health through next season, the Cardinals offense has the potential to be even better than they were prior to injuries last season.

Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify.

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