Arizona Cardinals Future May Be Bright


ESPN put out future rankings of each NFL franchise and the Arizona Cardinals did better than you’d think

Lately, ESPN hasn’t been too kind to the Arizona Cardinals.  There still seems to be a concern about the ability of the Cardinals to win games despite their record of 10-6 and 11-5 over the past two seasons.  However this week their insiders put out a future rankings of each team from 1-32 and the Cardinals actually finished 11th.  I know, shocker.

The rankings are based on how they believe each team looks to fare over the next three seasons.   Of course the Green Bay Packers came out number one on the list, so that really wasn’t a shocker at all.  ESPN scored each team on several factors including roster, quarterback, front office, draft, and coaching.

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Breaking it down by section, I’ll start with the highest score.  Naturally coaching received the highest score from ESPN.  Coaching received a 84.3 score, which represents the average rating given by the voters of this poll.

Clearly with Bruce Arians winning AFC Coach of the Year in 2012 and then coming off NFC Coach of the Year in 2014 you can’t really find better coaching in the NFL.  Arians isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so I agree this is a strong point of the organization now and for years to come.

Front office scored the next highest at 82.3.  General manager Steve Keim gets high marks for his 2013 draft of Tyrann Mathieu, Andre Ellington, and Alex Okafor but is faulted for the drafting of Jonathan Cooper who has been battling injury for the past two seasons.  I can’t really put that on Keim.  There were a lot of people high on Cooper in 2013.  Also ESPN believes Kevin Minter needs to prove something I tend to agree a bit with that one.

Draft score came in at 76.7.  As I just mentioned, the 2013 draft class turned out to be pretty good.  The 2014 class came up with nice surprises in safety Deone Bucannon and receiver John Brown.  They both had good rookie seasons.

The roster score came in at 73.3.  There is a lot of young players with a mix of veteran players.  The number of years on the stars is thought to bring this score down a bit.  ESPN agrees with me though and likes the youth movement that the Cardinals are trying to put on.

Finally, the quarterback score received a paltry 48.3.  People don’t trust in Carson Palmer.  They believe the Cardinals have no backup plan to replace him in a couple of seasons.  True, that guy probably isn’t on the roster today but I have to think the Cardinals are already thinking ahead to 2017, 2018 and beyond.  Keim and Arians just aren’t going to come out and tell you the plan.  Just because the quarterback of the future isn’t on the roster right now, give this front office some credit.  They wouldn’t be this good at what they do if they didn’t have a plan.  Palmer is back to 100 percent health wise.  Yes, after two ACL tears you do worry but that worry should be more about the present than the future.

The ranking shows that ESPN hasn’t lost all faith in the Cardinals ability to stay competitive over the next three seasons.  Their is young talent to build on and Keim has scouts in place that will help in future draft classes as well.  You always need some veteran presence but to me right now the Cardinals are doing it the right way.

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