The Arizona Cardinals entered the offseason trying to improve the team around Kyler Murray.
With the trade for DeAndre Hopkins they did just that, but the dramatic change in the overall perception of the wide receiving corps for the team could not have been expected.
ESPN ranked each position group for every NFL team and the Arizona Cardinals came in third at the wide receiver position, behind only the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On the rise: Arizona Cardinals
You might have heard that Arizona fleeced Houston into trading them one of the league’s best wide receivers (DeAndre Hopkins) in exchange for a 28-year-old backup RB (David Johnson) during the offseason. Hopkins joins Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald in the starting lineup, but that’s not where the story ends. The Cardinals drafted Andy Isabella (second round), Hakeem Butler (fourth) and KeeSean Johnson (sixth) in the 2019 draft, and all are candidates for a leap in their second seasons.
The Cardinals were able to get a consensus top three player at the position and that one addition made the change in what people think of the Arizona Cardinals receiving unit as a whole.
The reason being is simple, the Cardinals lacked a true top receiver before Hopkins. With Hopkins in tow, they have the alpha and now their triplets of Hopkins, Fitz and Kirk are that much more deadly.
Bracketing Kirk is impossible unless you want Hopkins going off. Suddenly the lack of game breaking ability from Fitzgerald at his age doesn't matter because you have two in Hopkins and Kirk. Now Fitz can truly function as a safety valve and bulk catch type.
The wild card for this team at the position is if they can find another weapon as Kirk enters a pivotal season and Fitzgerald is in the twilight of his career.
That's a good problem to have though and now the Cardinals have one of the top units in the NFL. Hopefully they get a shot to show it on the field.