The Arizona Cardinals made one of their biggest moves of the offseason by signing three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J.W. Baker. Other notable acquisitions are receiver A.J. Green and center Rodney Hudson.
The Cardinals are trying to win aggressively during Kyler Murray’s rookie year.
in the past 12 months, they added:
C Rodney Hudson
WR DeAndre Hopkins
DE JJ Watt
WR AJ Green
DE Jordan Phillips
LB Devon Kennard
LB De’Vondre Campbell
DB Budda Baker
OT DJ Humphries
– Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) March 17, 2021
Overall, the team looks complete and could compete for a playoff spot in the highly competitive NFC West. Arizona has the electric duo of Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, a steady offensive line and a promising defense.
This doesn’t mean the team doesn’t have holes. Here are four bold predictions about the Cardinals this offseason.
For the first time in a long time, Arizona needed a cornerback. That’s what happens when you have a Patrick Peterson All-Pro, who looks at the position like he looks at the best receivers. Peterson was one of the highest rated cornerbacks when he left school, and he made no secret of the fact that he did not disappoint.
He was dominant and put up impressive numbers, despite the unenviable task of going up against the opponent’s best receiver. He was so athletic that he was even used to haul wood. Now he and fellow cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick are understandably off the team. The duo’s performance in the 2020 season was forgettable, to say the least.
The team has contracted Malcolm Butler, which is a step in the right direction. The two-time Super Bowl winner had a solid 2020 season with the New England Patriots, with 14 passes defended and four interceptions. He is versatile, as he can play both man coverage and zone coverage. At this point in his career, he might be better suited as a number two cornerback, especially in a league with dangerous mistakes like the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams.
The Cardinals have announced that they have reached agreement on a one-year contract with former Titans CB Malcolm Butler.
– Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) 25. March 2021
In almost every spot draft, the Cardinals pick a corner in the first round, and here’s why. In an ideal world, Patrick Stein of Alabama or Caleb Farley of Virginia Tech would take a knee, but that’s unlikely. However, it is important to note that Farley will undergo back surgery and injured his ACL a few years ago. That could scare off conservative teams and make Farley available to the Cardinals.
The candidate who will be available for Arizona is likely South Carolina starter Jaycee Horn. He is not of the same level as the other two candidates, but he plays hard and sticks to his assignments well and shows a refined technique. The biggest criticism is the lack of speed at the highest level.
Choose the tight end
There weren’t many tight ends to choose from in the free agency class, and the best of them were signed immediately, think Hunter Henry and Jonna Smith. Arizona starts with Max Williams. He doesn’t do much in the passing game, but he is a very good run blocker. The problem is that he can’t get rid of his injuries. He only played in nine games last season. There’s not much depth behind him either.
This year’s prospects are Kyle Pitts (Florida) and everyone else. Arizona could use a third round pick and get Brevin Jordan out of college. Jordan is a runner with a fluid route and gives Murray another option in the passing attack. He has strong hands, plays physical and is not afraid of contact. He’s a blocker, but at 6-foot-4 and 45 pounds, he’s not particularly big.
Take the inside, defensive lineman.
On paper, the Cardinals’ chances look good with Chandler Jones and Watt applying pressure, but the team needs to improve in the trenches. Arizona was below average against the run. Contracting Jerrell Casey could solve both problems.
Like other veterans at his position, his best days are behind him. But after his biceps injury last year, he should have enough reserves to be a cog in Arizona’s defense. He is a reliable runner who is more than capable of getting to the quarterback.
The agency can get him to sign a modest one-year contract.
Improving the ground game
The running back position is not as recognizable as it once was, but it is still an important part of a balanced attack, and head coach Cliff Kingsbury’s system is no different. Chase Edmonds played last season for Kenya Drake, who had nearly 1,000 yards on the ground last season. Edmonds seems more like a second-rate running back, but Arizona seems to think otherwise, according to Kyle Odegard of AZCardinals.com.
Steve Keim said he would keep an eye on the running back position, but thinks Chase Edmonds is a great player.
– Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) 22. March 2021
Historically, it’s smarter to start over with the selection than to contract a free agent who’s been with the pros for a few seasons. Gemstones with a following circle at this point are among the easiest to find.
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