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Big WR Questions for Cardinals

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NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Baylor vs Oklahoma Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The mere vision of the Cardinals trotting out a spread offense where the 4 WRs across the formation are, in order of left to right: Hopkins—-Kirk—-Fitzgerald—-Lamb has me as euphoric as I was when I heard that the Beatles were coming to Shea Stadium in 1965.

Heck, I even like the backup band of Butler—-Isabella—-Arnold—-Johnson.

Oh and I am still of the belief that Trent Sherfield is a dang good WR—-same with A.J. Richardson—-and I am not sleeping for one second on the speedy Johnny Dixon, as long as he hands over his #10 jersey to Nuk.

I have been (and still remain) in 100% favor of CeeDee Lamb's talent and the fact that Kyler Murray has been asking the Cardinals to draft him.

But, in light of the DeAndre Hopkins trade—-three significant questions have come to mind with regard to the Cardinals still drafting Lamb in the 1st round.

  1. With only 1 football—-how could Kingsbury and Murray keep all 4 WRs happy?
  2. If it comes across that Kyler is playing slight favorites with Lamb, how would that sit for Fitz, Nuk, and C-Kirk?
  3. How would having 4 stud WRs affect the happy medium that Kingsbury and Kugler created between their 10 personnel (4 WR, 1 RB) and their 12 personnel (2 TEs. 1 RB) which caters more favorably to the running/play action scheme?

I would love to hear your answers to those questions.

My responses are:

  1. Winning is often a panacea—-in other words—-it can keep everyone happy. Fitz is such a great teammate. He gets just as excited (if not more) for his teammates’ success as his own. The others could easily follow suit. But if the team is not winning, then most or all of the WRs are apt to want the ball more.
  2. I am pretty confident that Kyler would be sensitive to a possible perception of him favoring CeeDee to a degree—-but come game time last year, Kyler appeared to be more honed in on feeding the veterans, than he did on the rookies. That could still be the case, although it would be difficult to do given CeeDee’s talent.
  3. We have yet to see how explosive the K-Raid 10 personnel can be when the team has the optimal personnel for it. it’s entirely possible that if the 10 personnel is clicking on all cylinders, then the Cardinals red zone struggles of 2019 could be dashed as quickly as a nifty fade pass to the corner of the end zone—-or—-some dazzling home run passes up the sidelines or to the deep posts.

For the Cardinals’ offense or any other—-what is the ultimate object?

The ultimate object is to score as many points as possible. If the 10 personnel allows that to happen, then the Cardinals should roll with it as much as Kingsbury wants and keep the pedal on the metal.

At this point, I think the Cardinals have the WR talent to put up big points. However...

I understand that this could be Fitz’s last season and that C-Kirk has two years left on his rookie deal. Thus, drafting a brilliant talent like CeeDee Lamb and ensuring that Kyler Murray has a one-two punch of DeAndre Hopkins and CeeDee Lamb in place for the next 4 years is very appealing.

It’s also very appealing to know that by taking CeeDee Lamb, he won’t be wearing a 49ers’ uniform for the next 5 years—-as shown in Joe Marino’s (The Draft Network) latest mock draft—-check out the photo of Lamb as a 49er:

https://thedraftnetwork.com/articles/marino-s-2020-nfl-mock-draft-7.0

Ugh. That sight makes me shudder.

I have to admit—I am still very emotionally attached to the thought of CeeDee Lamb catching TD passes from Kyler Murray for the next 4-5 years.

Doing anything and everything to put Kyler Murray in a comfort zone in Arizona is a-ok with me.

As we know, the 49ers got Nick Bosa picking right behind us—-and to a degree, that stung. Therefore, just imagine what it would feel like in this draft to see the 49ers pull CeeDee Lamb out of their hat.

However, I am of the firm belief that the Cardinals got the better of the 49ers in the 2019, because i have no doubt that if the 49ers had had the #1 pick, Kyle Shanahan would have pounced on Kyler Murray. I cannot fathom Kyle Shanahan passing on a talent as unique as Kyler Murray. After Shanahan lost Jimmy Garoppolo to injury in 2018—-there was a level of concern about him—-and to this day, even though Garoppolo led the 49ers to the Super Bowl, there remains some doubt about Garoppolo as their long-term QB.

I think that if the Cardinals take CeeDee Lamb at #8, that is likely to kickstart a quick run on WRs and basically shut the 49ers out of the top three where they pick at #13. It would be easy to envision the Jets taking Jerry Jeudy at #11 and the Raiders taking Henry Ruggs at #12, right under the 49ers’ noses.

I cherish that thought.

Even if they get Jeudy or Riggs—-it won’t hurt nearly as much.

But seeing them fawn over CeeDee Lamb would be agonizing.

Basically, what to comes down to is—-do we want Kliff Kingsbury to have more dynamic playmakers than Kyle Shanahan (and Sean McVay and Pete Carroll, for that matter)?

Ergo—-having answered why I think the three questions above are not something to be overly concerned about—-I find myself left pondering one nagging, persistent question:

Which team would be better off with CeeDee Lamb: the Cardinals or the 49ers?

For me—-the answer has become as simple as that.

How about for you?