Arizona Cardinals: 3 Underrated Cardinals Who Will Step Up This Season


Oct 2, 2011; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Giants safety Jerrard Tarrant (34) makes a leaping tackle of Arizona Cardinals tight end Rob Housler (84) in the second quarter of a game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Morrison-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Housler has the potential to be a great tight end in this league. He is 6’5” with good speed and knows how to get open. While Housler has trouble blocking pass rushers he has no trouble breaking away from slower linebackers. My suggestions while you are at work anxiously waiting for your fantasy football draft to start in the fall is to write Housler’s name down.

While Jimmy Graham and all the top tight ends will be drafted, I guarantee you Housler will be on the waiver wire. Housler will break out this year in a huge way for the Cardinals’ offense. Last season I couldn’t count how many times Housler was open and was overthrown. He recorded 45 receptions for 417 yards last season and zero touchdowns. Housler will finish this upcoming year with 80 receptions, 900 yards, and seven touchdowns.

Rashad Johnson is the next player who will make huge contributions to this squad if he starts, although we probably won’t know until the third week of preseason. He waited patiently backing up former Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson. Last season, he intercepted two passes and took one back to the house for six against the Detroit Lions.

Now that A-dub isn’t breathing down his neck anymore it will help him knowing he has a shot to become the full time starter. Johnson should start and I expect him to turn a lot heads with Tyrann Mathieu right by his side. He will have to work very hard to retain the starting position with so much depth at safety the Cardinals have acquired this offseason.  His final stats will be 60 combined tackles, four interceptions, and one forced fumble.

Lastly, O’Brien Schofield is another player that catches my attention. His season was cut short after a freak accident in Green Bay last year. He finished with 34 total tackles and four sacks. After fighting injuries the past couple of years I feel he is hungry and itching to get back on the field.

He has the potential to be one of the most feared linebackers in the league. The question is, will his knee and ankle which hold up? If they do, I see double-digit sacks for him this upcoming season. His final stat line should be 45 total tackles, 10 sacks, and two forced fumbles. With Bowles’ decision to let Darnell Dockett attack that will allow Schofield to get one-on-one matchups with the right tackle something that will be in his favor.