The Arizona Cardinals have had some unremarkable drafts as of lately, but they might have cancelled all of that out with one big rookie signing last season in LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson. Peterson has emerged as a number one defensive back as well as a solid return man, making him dangerous in all aspects of the football game.
Football Outsiders concurs with this, and also believes that several other Cardinals defenders help prop up Arizona to the 17th overall ranking. Why aren't they higher? The Cardinals have struggled to land capable players on the offensive side of the football to keep the team moving down the field, which has eventually stalled any success for the team. Find out what the issue has been for the Cardinals from the excerpt of the article after the jump.
This all starts with CB Patrick Peterson. It's not often you find a player with the talent to both cover No. 1 receivers and return punts at a high level, and we nudged Arizona up accordingly. With LBs Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield having another year of NFL experience under their belt, odds are the Cardinals will generate a better pass rush than they did last season. Dan Williams had a down year, but he's still one of the more physically gifted nose tackles in the game. The offense isn't as settled, but what's impressive is the sheer number of NFL-caliber players they can throw at you: QB John Skelton, WR Andre Roberts, WR Michael Floyd, TE Rob Housler and RBs Beanie Wells and LaRod Stephens-Howling. We have to reward that quantity, even if most of that group hasn't made a huge impact yet.
You can view the whole article here courtesy of Danny Tuccitto and Rivers McCown of Football Outsiders if you've signed up for an ESPN insider account.
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