The Arizona Cardinals kicked off the preseason with a 36-23 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Yes, it’s preseason, and the starters were nowhere to be found for either team. Trace McSorley showcased his talent by going 13-of-22 for 163 yards and a touchdown, while Jarrett Guarantano completed 7-of-10 passes for 54 yards and a score.
Former USC Trojans running back and rookie Keaontay Ingram looked like a capable backup to James Conner. Ingram totaled seven carries for 27 yards and a score and chipped in a pair of catches for 18 yards.
The preseason gives every team a glimpse of some young talent — and lets them see who needs to be cut as the rosters get dwindled.
But, according to Pro Football Focus, one 24-year-old undrafted wide receiver drew some attention again and was labeled as the Cardinals ‘biggest riser’.
24-Year-Old Greg Dortch is Making a Name for Himself
Greg Dortch. Have you heard that name before? Probably not.
The 24-year-old Wake Forest product has bounced around with several teams in the NFL, including time with the following: New York Jets, Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Rams, and Atlanta Falcons.
Dortch went undrafted in 2019 and has bounced around ever since, but he hopes to find a home in the desert for 2022.
Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus compiled a list of the biggest risers and fallers from each NFL team, and Johnny Venerable of PHNX Cardinals gave his reasoning why Dortch is that riser:
Venerable wrote that Dortch has “made big plays all throughout camp and should force his way onto the roster.” The 5-foot-7 wide receiver has bounced around the league from the Jets to the Panthers, Rams, Falcons and Cardinals since going undrafted out of Wake Forest in 2019.
So far, during training camp, Dortch has stood out in a big way and might be forcing Kliff Kingsbury and company to keep him on the 53-man roster.
Then, on Friday, during the preseason opener, Dortch caught four balls for 53 yards on eight targets. Moreover, he returned five punts for 89 yards, including a dazzling 55-yard return.
Dortch finished with the team lead in targets and was four yards behind Andy Isabella for the team lead in receiving yards.
It was a strong performance from Dortch, and with DeAndre Hopkins suspended for six games to start the year, maybe there is a role for him on the team.
What Does the Cardinals Depth Chart Look Like at Wide Receiver?
The wide receiver room is pretty crowded in Arizona. Hopkins is out for six games, but there is immense talent throughout the rest of that position group.
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown figures to step into the lead role, and veteran AJ Green should see an uptick in targets in Hopkins’ absence. Rondale Moore is another player earmarked to see an extra dose of targets, even when Hopkins does return.
After that, it remains to be seen who takes the final spots. Isabella and Antoine Wesley are fighting for roster spots, and with the way Dortch has played, he could overtake them and snag a spot on the final roster.
The hype around Dortch is quickly gaining steam, and for every reason.
If he continues to play well and perform well during camp, there is no way they can keep him off the roster.
The Cardinals’ next preseason game is against the Baltimore Ravens on August 21, so it will be interesting to see if Kingsbury changes up the playing time for the wide receivers.