Arizona Cardinals February Scouting Report
The Cardinals finished their season at 5-10-1 this past season.
Improvements: The offense actually moved the ball better than the season before and this team stayed semi-competitive throughout the season. Last year, this team struggled to even get 150 yards of offense a game.
Areas of Improvement: Defense, Defense, Offensive Line, WR, Defense. Granted, CB Patrick Peterson was on suspension for the first 6 games, but either way, the defense just could not get many stops. This despite the fact that DE Chandler Jones was the defensive player of the year! The Cardinals allowed opposing passers a passing rating of 117.9 passing rating and 75% completion rates. Worst in the league… period.
Let’s look at areas that the Cardinals need to get better.
QB: QB Kyler Murray is the answer for the next 4 years with a team option for a 5th year. Good! He’s making good money but nothing like a second contract starter near $30-$40M. The Cardinals have 4 years to get good quick!
RB: The Cardinals have huge decisions to make this off-season. RB David Johnson has not been the David Johnson of 2016. What do they do with him? RB Kenyon Drake showed some serious flashes of skill, but he’s a FA looking for a huge contract. I am hopeful it is not offered and the Cards could maybe get a 1 year deal with him that they can afford. More than likely it will be RB David Johnson and RB Chase Edmonds. They need to think about drafting a good young tailback this year as well.
WR: WR Jerry Jeudy or WR CeeDee Lamb need to be the Cardinals’ pick at #8 overall. WR Larry Fitzgerald is back for at least 1 more year and should serve as an amazing mentor to either. Regardless, people will come to see WR Larry Fitzgerald chase WR Jerry Rice. I think he could break most of his records in 2 years. The TD record will NOT be broken by Fitz! WR Christian Kirk needs to stay healthy. Beyond that, the young wide receivers on the team really need to step up and become the playmakers they are supposed to be. WR Hakeem Butler has the size but needs to learn to catch. WR Damiere Byrd flashed then disappeared. WR Pharoh Cooper is a special teams monster and should make the team that way. WR Pharoh Cooper can disappear as well. WR Andy Isabella was taken before Seattle WR D.K. Metcalf and has basically (other than the pre-season) been a complete bust. Time to step up! WR KeeSean Johnson needs to make a good step forward. QR Trent Serfield needs to do the same.
TE: Will the Cardinals actually use one? TE Maxx Williams seems to be in the lead to take over the starting position next year. TE Charles Clay, TE Darrell Daniels and TE Dan Arnold all played roles but none really stood out.
OL: The Cardinals signed OL DJ Humphries to a 3 year deal this past week. OL DJ Humphries allowed just 2 sacks while playing all 16 games this past year. Let’s hope this is not a 1 year wonder! OL Marcus Gilbert should be back soon from injury. Regardless, this line needs to get better. They have a thoroughbred quarterback behind them and need to keep him upright!
Free Agency and the Draft are coming up and will be covered in the next couple of reports!
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