Kiper NFL mock draft 2.0: Cardinals take OSU WR Chris Olave in 1st round
Mar 1, 2022, 11:24 AM | Updated: Mar 4, 2022, 7:36 am
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
While the Arizona Cardinals have the likes of DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore under contract through 2024, the franchise could use another addition or two to the wide receivers room this offseason.
According to Mel Kiper’s latest mock released Tuesday, Arizona will look to the 2022 NFL Draft for at least one pass catcher in Ohio State’s Chris Olave at No. 23.
It’s quite the change up from Kiper, who had the Cardinals taking Purdue Boilermakers defensive end George Karlaftis in the first round of the upcoming draft.
Sure, Arizona spent a second-round pick on Rondale Moore a year ago, but he’s more of a slot receiver who could be used in the run game, too. He averaged a staggeringly low 8.1 yards per catch on his 54 receptions, producing just 18 first downs. … Olave can line up outside and run crisp routes to beat cornerbacks. He had 35 career touchdowns for the Buckeyes. This would be a selection to try to make Kyler Murray a little happier heading into an important season.
Hopkins is the unquestioned No. 1 option for Arizona, but the Cardinals will be pressed in adding an outside threat this offseason, especially with A.J. Green likely heading elsewhere after a roller coaster of a season in the desert. Christian Kirk, who put up his best season as a pro in 2021, is also a free agent.
Last season at Ohio State (11 games), Olave reeled in 65 catches for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns. He paced all Buckeye pass catchers in touchdowns and was third in receiving yards.
As it stands, the Cardinals have Hopkins, Moore, Greg Dortch and Andy Isabella currently under contract through next season.
Of the four, only Hopkins and Moore saw extended roles in the passing game last year. Before going down with a torn MCL, Hopkins recorded 42 catches for 572 yards and eight touchdowns. Moore caught 54 receptions for 435 yards and a score.
Dortch (3) and Isabella (1) combined for four catches for 28 yards.