With the first few waves of free agency in the rearview, the Cardinals are in the midst of their annual draft prep. GM Steve Keim will lay the groundwork to bring in a new class of rookies to supplement the roster already built and forge a direction upon which a few more free agents are likely to be signed.
Here is the first position group breakdown.
Draft primer: Wide Receiver
Players under contract: DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, Andy Isabella, Greg Dortch, Andre Baccellia, Antoine Wesley.
The Cardinals' situation: It's no secret the Cardinals have work to do here. DeAndre Hopkins is locked in as the primary target and Rondale Moore should receive a larger role in Year two. Keim must find a complement for Hopkins on the outside and possibly a replacement inside for Christian Kirk. Antoine Wesley re-signed on Wednesday to provide depth at the position. Andy Isabella has an uncertain future in Arizona after the team gave him permission to seek a trade earlier this offseason.
The draft class: The 2022 draft will feature several high-rated receiver prospects, which is ideal news for the Cardinals, although at least four could go before the Cardinals pick. ESPN's draft expert Mel Kiper Jr projects USC's Drake London to the Jets at No.4, Ohio State's Garrett Wilson to the Falcons at No. 8, Ohio State's Chris Olave to the Eagles at No. 16, and Alabama's Jameson Williams to the Patriots at No. 21. That would leave Penn State's Jahan Dotson and Arkansas' Treylon Burks available for the Cardinals two picks later. Western Michigan's Skyy Moore, North Dakota State's Christian Watson and Cincinnati's Alec Pierce are among other wideouts expected to be top selections.
The conclusion: The Cardinals have a few elite targets for quarterback Kyler Murray, but not enough to produce an explosive offense similar to the start of last season. Kliff Kingsbury has acknowledged how much the passing game depends on Hopkins, after the wideout missed seven games with injuries. A.J. Green was solid in the secondary outside role but never appeared on the same page as Murray throughout the year. Green could still return in 2022. While Moore will see more targets, drafting an upcoming rookie to fill the depth chart becomes essential.
Images of the top wide receiver prospects heading into the draft.