Trio of Arizona Cardinals crack ESPN’s NFL top 100 list

Sep 2, 2022, 8:11 AM

Budda Baker...

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

Another day, another NFL top 100 list.

After NFL Network wrapped up its top 100 list as voted on by players, ESPN compiled its own ranking with the help of more than 50 beat writers and NFL experts. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, safety Budda Baker and receiver DeAndre Hopkins landed on the top-100 ranking.

Leading the way as the highest-rated Cardinal is Murray at No. 55. Last year, the signal caller came in at No. 21.

Signature stat: Murray joins Prescott as the only passers to top 10,000 passing yards within their first three NFL seasons while also averaging a completion percentage north of 65% over that span. Murray’s completion percentage (66.9%) and yardage (11,480) both slightly edge Prescott’s numbers.

Murray is coming off his most accurate season as a pro, completing 69.2% of his passes for 3,787 yards and 24 touchdowns to 10 interceptions.

And while he didn’t see the same amount of work as a runner as he did in 2020, the QB still chipped in 423 yards and five scores on 88 carries.

ESPN projections have Murray throwing for 4,112 yards and 25 touchdowns to 13 picks. The network also has the signal caller rushing for 491 yards and five touchdowns.

Eleven spots from Murray sits another Cardinal in safety Budda Baker at No. 66. The safety was the lone Cardinal on the list to see his rating improve after landing at No. 72 in 2021.

Arguably Arizona’s top defender, Baker recorded 98 tackles, three interceptions, seven passes defensed and two sacks over 17 starts last season.

Signature stat: Since entering the NFL in 2017, Baker has 55 QB pressures, second most among defensive backs in that time, trailing only Jamal Adams.

This year, ESPN projects 100 tackles, two picks, seven passes defensed and a forced fumble for the safety.

Rounding out Arizona’s trio on the top 100 is wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins at No. 96. Hopkins saw a massive drop, having landed No. 17 in the 2021 rankings.

Signature stat: Since his debut in 2013, Hopkins leads the NFL in targets (1,257) and receptions (789).

Hopkins enters 2022 after seeing just 10 games last season due to injuries. Despite a career low in games played, Hopkins still managed to reel in a team-high eight touchdowns to go along with 42 catches (64 targets) for 572 yards.

He’ll miss about the same amount of games this season, too, thanks to a six-game suspension for PED use. The earliest Cardinals fans will see Hopkins back on the field is Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints.

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