When the Arizona Cardinals drafted two running backs in the NFL Draft back in April, you knew it was a position the Cards were very concerned with improving. Then they went out and signed free agent Rashard Mendenhall plus they still have Ryan Williams, who is oft-injured. One of those draft picks, Stepfan Taylor, was impressive in his first game Friday night, rushing for 63 yards.
With Mendenhall and Williams currently sitting out practice and games due to injuries, it is time for the rookies to shine and Taylor was the man in the first game. The other rookie, Andre Ellington is also nursing a concussion. Taylor went a long way in solidifying a spot in the offensive background. You can’t argue with the results he produced, preseason or not. It was his first NFL game.
Then you have the fact Taylor is from Stanford, so he has the smarts as well. He will go through his growing pains at some point but he looks like the best of the bunch. The other running back Alfonso Smith, rushed for just 21 yards on 12 carries on Friday night in the 17-0 victory over the Green Bay Packers. He may solidify his spot because he is more of a fullback type rusher and the team currently does not have one on the roster.
Look for Taylor to not just impress in the preseason but also make noise once they strap it up for real in September. We should have every reason in the world right now to believe that he is the real deal.