The Draft Network: Arizona Cardinals could be bottom 10 team in 2022
Jun 12, 2022, 7:15 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 7:44 am
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Although the Arizona Cardinals have gradually improved their record in each year under head coach Kliff Kingsbury, The Draft Network’s Jack McKessy thinks the team has the potential to fall to a top-10 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Arizona finished this past season in the NFC Wild Card game against the Los Angeles Rams, ending with an 11-7 record after soaring to a 9-2 start.
That’s not as hot a take as it may seem. The threshold for picking in the top 10 in this year’s draft was a 7-10 record. If Arizona had lost the three one-score games they won last season, they’d have already been knocking on the door of the top 10. Given the Cardinals’ offseason activity, there could easily be four more losses with this team than last year’s iteration.
A top-10 pick would not only be a major step back, but a slap in the face to many around the Valley after the coach and general manager Steve Keim just received hefty extensions.
The six-game suspension to wideout DeAndre Hopkins as well as the departure of Christian Kirk in free agency are two of the biggest glaring losses this offseason as the Cardinals’ record dramatically suffered when Hopkins missed time due to injury in 2021.
Arizona addressed the need by trading for Marquise “Hollywood” Brown from the Baltimore Ravens on draft night. Although many around the Valley are excited to see the Kyler Murray-Brown tandem back together, many around the NFL world are not as impressed with the moves made in the offseason. The biggest question mark is determining who will replace Chandler Jones, writes McKessy.
To replace Jones are two rookies—Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders—that will really have to prove themselves worthy NFL-level replacements, especially if J.J. Watt’s injury bug rears its ugly head once again in 2022.
In place of Kirk, the Cardinals traded their first-round pick to the Ravens for Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Murray’s former college receiver. While Brown is more than a worthy replacement, the cost for Arizona makes the acquisition more questionable. It doesn’t look any better when considering A.J. Brown was available for a similar price and that Hollywood will have to be the Cardinals’ No. 1 receiver for six weeks with Hopkins’ suspension.
McKessy adds that Arizona faces an uphill climb over those first six games regardless of the suspension to Hopkins. The Cardinals currently have the second-hardest schedule for 2022 based on last season’s records.
He predicts that the Cardinals will finish the season 8-9 and that they are not a bad team, just in a difficult spot.