ESPN’s Barnwell skeptical about Cardinals’ offensive weaponry in 2021

Jul 24, 2021, 7:33 AM
DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown with Kyler Mur...
DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown with Kyler Murray #1 against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 11, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Arizona Cardinals defeated the New York Jets 30-10. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray will be looking to strengthen his success with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, as well as creating new relationships with his new offensive weapons.

The Cardinals had a busy offseason as they added a handful of players through free agency and the NFL Draft, including wide receiver A.J. Green, running back James Conner and rookie receiver Rondale Moore.

The 2021 NFL season is just around the corner as Cardinals will have their full team reporting to training camp by July 27.

As training camps open, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell ranked every team’s offense.

Arizona’s offense came in ranked at No. 18, according to Barnwell.

For now, there’s DeAndre Hopkins, and then there’s everyone else. The Cardinals might hope that Chase Edmonds is a 1A back or James Conner looks better outside of Pittsburgh’s putrid rushing attack or that A.J. Green isn’t done or that rookie Rondale Moore gives them the spark of speed they desperately needed at the end of last season, but realistically, this is an offense carried by Nuk and Kyler Murray.

In his first season with the Cardinals, Hopkins proved why he is one of the league’s best receivers as he ended the year with the second-most receiving yards (1,407) in the league and was tied second for the most receptions (115) amongst all wide receivers in 2020.

Barnwell added that receiver Christian Kirk is a question mark for Arizona’s offense heading into the new season.

“Christian Kirk has never taken the leap some expected, although he should have the opportunity to spend more time in the slot in 2021. Green looked past his best in Cincinnati. Moore is an electric playmaker who wasn’t able to stay healthy at Purdue.”

Even though he has missed some time in the past due to injury, Green should help boost the Cardinals’ aerial attack as he has 649 receptions and 9,430 career receiving yards.

The Cardinals had a few players depart via free agency, including tight end Dan Arnold, who played in 19 games for Arizona.

Future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald’s status also remains unknown he has yet to make a public announcement on a potential retirement.

“Hopkins should make everyone else’s job easier, but that wasn’t enough to get Larry Fitzgerald, Kenyan Drake or Andy Isabella going last season. With a soft reboot around Hopkins in 2021, the lesser Cardinals have to hope that they can take advantage of the opportunities afforded them by the attention on him and Murray.

The ESPN writer went on to say that the running back duo of Chase Edmonds and Conner could be a great one-two punch if they remain healthy.

In four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Conner has recorded 3,265 total yards (rushing and receiving) and scored 26 touchdowns in his career.

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