Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information

Cardinals Would Like To Add Wide Receiver In Draft

Intriguing options could be on the board in second round

Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown (5) runs in for a touchdown ahead of Oklahoma State cornerback Tanner McCalister (2) in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018.
Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown (5) runs in for a touchdown ahead of Oklahoma State cornerback Tanner McCalister (2) in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018.

It may not feel like it now, but the Cardinals actually have nine draft choices beyond the No. 1 overall pick next week.

While all the focus is currently on quarterback and pass rusher, a position they will consider closely in the ensuing rounds is wide receiver. General Manager Steve Keim stopped short of saying the Cardinals need to take one early, but allowed that he would like to do so if the right opportunity presents itself.

"There's no doubt that there are a number of receivers in this draft that we feel are quality players and can certainly help us," Keim said.

The Cardinals could use another playmaker at the position beyond Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald. Kevin White was added in free agency while Chad Williams and Trent Sherfield are among the holdovers, but there is no proven NFL talent besides the duo atop the depth chart.

There should be plenty of intriguing options available for the Cardinals at No. 33 overall. Mississippi's D.K. Metcalf and Oklahoma's Marquise Brown are projected to be gone by that point, but that's not a given. Other wide receivers that could be available include N'Keal Harry, A.J. Brown, Parris Campbell, Hakeem Butler and Kelvin Harmon.

Harry is the fan favorite after starring down the road at Arizona State, and Keim also likes his game.

"N'Keal Harry is a big man that can do a lot of different things for you," Keim said. "One thing that excites me about him is his ability to run after the catch. For a big, long athlete, he's got unique skills after the catch as well as tracking and adjusting to the football down the field."

There is an outsized focus on wideout because the Cardinals filled many other needs in free agency. However, Keim wants to be smart about the pick if and when it does happen.

"That's the tough part of this business," Keim said. "It's natural that you can stray towards positions of need. It's what gets you in trouble. As long as those players are in a very similar category grade-wise, then it can be a discussion. But if a player and another player, if there's a significant gap, you have to take the best player available."

The Cardinals could pass on a wide receiver but still land an aerial weapon if they instead dip into the tight end crop. It's perceived to be one of the deepest in years, with the Iowa duo of T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant leading the way.

"There are some really talented players, no question," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "I think the depth is there. I think a few of those guys are going to go early, and so it'll be interesting to see how it shakes out."

Kingsbury had an elite tight end at Texas Tech in 2013 and leaned on him often, as Jace Amaro led the team with 106 catches for 1,352 yards. Kingsbury also helped a variety of receivers flourish, from speedsters like Keke Coutee to tall targets like Antoine Wesley.

Kingsbury's pliability should allow the Cardinals to consider a bevy of different pass-catching options.

"We'll adapt to the personnel and put the best players on the field that give us the best chance to win," Kingsbury said.

Images of notable wide receiver prospects heading into the April 25-27 NFL draft

Advertising