When the Cardinals selected Kevin Minter out of LSU, they thought they had drafted a potential cornerstone on the defense who could play the inside linebacker spot next to Daryl Washington. Nothing in that plan is seemingly coming to fruition anytime in the near future.
After the suspension and arrest of Washington and the additions of veteran Jasper Brinkley and former fan favorite Karlos Dansby, both middle linebacker spots are a mystery right now for the Cards. So, the question arises, what becomes of the second-round linebacker?
Dansby played Washington’s position on the Cards defense while he played here, and while there is a new defensive coordinator/philosophy, logic would indicate that he would simply slide into that spot again with Washington’s cloudy future.
But what happens at that spot when D-Wash returns? Does D-Wash instantly get his job back? Or will Bruce Arians make him work his way back? It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
So then you move to the other side. Minter was drafted in the second round, and with Bruce Arians’ history and willingness to play rookies; Minter would seemingly have a slight edge for that other starting linebacker spot.
However, Jasper Brinkley is coming off a 99-tackle season with Minnesota and has been a solid player over the course of his career. Then, what happens on that side when Daryl Washington returns? Does Dansby get pushed over, or does he go to the bench?
The answer to these questions will be vital in training camp, the preseason, and even into the regular season. On this issue of Kevin Minter specifically, I don’t think Steve Keim and Arians drafted a guy 45th overall to have him not play.
I don’t know if Minter will become a starter right away, but I do know that he will at least be involved in the rotation at linebacker. He will certainly see the field, how much, it is impossible to know right now. This is one of the many questions surrounding the middle linebacker position coming into training camp for the Cardinals.