CARDINALS CORNER

Cardinals questions post-NFL Draft: Is Michael Wilson the unquestioned WR2?

May 3, 2024, 11:38 AM

The Arizona Cardinals replenished their roster and upgraded multiple positions with an addition of 12 NFL Draft picks.

With arguably the biggest piece of Arizona’s offseason now behind it, the attention turns to the depth chart and how the Cardinals’ roster will shake out.

While there’s still plenty of time before the pads come on, there’s no shortage of question marks surrounding Arizona ahead of Year 2 under head coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort.

Let’s start with in the Cardinals’ revamped pass-catching department:

Is Michael Wilson the undisputed lock at WR2?

The question centering around who would slot in as Arizona’s No. 1 wide receiver was answered with the addition of No. 4 overall pick Marvin Harrison Jr.

But what about WR2?

All signs point to Michael Wilson securing that role after reeling in 38 catches for 565 yards and three touchdowns across 14 games as a rookie. He was third among Arizona pass catchers in receiving yards and tied tight end Trey McBride for the high mark in touchdowns.

And with both Rondale Moore and Hollywood Brown no longer on the roster on top of Greg Dortch lining up as Arizona’s unquestioned slot man, the runway is clear for Wilson to take over that role.

The big thing to watch for when it comes to Wilson isn’t his ability to make plays. It’s his availability.

After dealing with different injuries throughout college, the rookie wideout dealt with a shoulder ailment that forced him out of four games and impacted his production in the immediate games following.

Outside of the availability variable, Arizona’s receiving attack should look as follows:

WR1: Marvin Harrison Jr.
WR2: Michael Wilson
Slot: Greg Dortch

The veterans to watch

If there is a veteran name to watch currently on the roster who could threaten Wilson’s WR2 standing, new addition Chris Moore might be that guy.

He hasn’t taken the league by storm in recent seasons but did stretch the field for the Tennessee Titans, averaging 19.3 yards per catch on his way to 22 receptions for 424 yards in 2023.

Zach Pascal, who served primarily on special teams for the Cardinals last year, got plenty of run during a three-year stretch with the Indianapolis Colts from 2019-21 that included back-to-back seasons of at least 41 catches, 607 yards and five touchdowns.

At the very least, he gives Arizona another big-bodied option currently on the roster.

The rookie to watch

He may have been one of Arizona’s final picks in this NFL Draft, but former UAB wide receiver and sixth-rounder Tejhaun Palmer could make some noise in the room if he can get up to speed in the playbook and build chemistry with quarterback Kyler Murray early on.

At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Palmer brings the right size to the position and has a solid catch radius. He’s also coming off his best season at UAB, reeling in 858 yards and seven touchdowns on 47 catches in 12 games played.

Palmer will, however, have to prove he can separate against press coverage in the NFL and improve his suddenness off the break.

The young wideout has a long way to go up the depth chart, but his size and past production make him a candidate to watch for more playing time.

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