Cardinals CB Christian Matthew ‘too excited’ to face WR DeAndre Hopkins

May 1, 2022, 10:10 AM | Updated: May 10, 2022, 11:50 am
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) and offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum (68) get a laugh in during ...
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) and offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum (68) get a laugh in during Day 3 of Cardinals minicamp Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — That welcome-to-the-NFL moment is a right of passage for rookies around the league.

Usually, those moments are often ones to forget. But for the Arizona Cardinals’ seventh-round cornerback Christian Matthew out of Valdosta State, he’s basically asking for his time to come sooner rather than later.

On top of the cornerback’s excitement of hearing his name called Saturday, Matthew was absolutely jacked that he’ll be lining up against No. 1 receiving option DeAndre Hopkins at practice.

Good luck, rookie.

“I’m too excited for that. Are you kidding me?” Matthew said. “I grew up watching DeAndre Hopkins, and I use the words ‘grew up’ on purpose. I want him to feel a little bit old.

“Grew up watching him, man. He’s a phenomenal player, obviously. Makes the hard catches, makes the contested catches so I want to challenge him down the field or something. He’s good at it and I think I’m good at it as well, so I’m thrilled.”

You can’t knock the confidence. And while Matthew will likely get taken to school going up against Hopkins early on, there’s positives to wanting to test the wideout.

Last season, cornerback Marco Wilson spoke volumes about Hopkins and how he not only tested the then-rookie but also gave tips on how to take that next step as an NFL defender.

Hopkins was an added voice for Wilson, who ended up being an every-game starter for Arizona last season after Malcolm Butler’s sudden retirement last offseason.

“I definitely believe I have big-school talent and the Cardinals obviously thought the same thing,” Matthew said.

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