Arizona Cardinals A-Z profiles: Justin Bethel
By Scott Allen
The Arizona Cardinals are in the last week of OTA’s and have a mini-camp remaining before training camp
It is time for our annual look at player by player from A to Z on the current Arizona Cardinals roster as we are now in the final four days of OTA’s and have a three-day mini-camp next week. The next stop is training camp at the end of July.
In this profile we look at cornerback Justin Bethel. Bethel is about to entre his fifth-year as an Cardinal.
2015: At times, Bethel was finally starting to look like the cornerback everyone wanted to see when he was drafted out of Presbyterian. For the first four years he spent the majority of his time on special teams.
He continued those ways in 2015, however became a part-time starter after Antonio Cromartie bolted for the New York Jets. He started five games last season.
Bethel had two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers, and forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles. He registered 46 tackles overall.
2016: After struggling down the stretch and getting beat often towards the end of the season and into the playoffs, it is believe the Cardinals are completely sold on Bethel as a full-time starter.
Given that the Cardinals though were unable to land a big name free-agent at corner, it appears the Cardinals will go with Bethel opposite Patrick Peterson. However, the Cardinals may still be looking.
They lost Jerraud Powers but seemingly the Cardinals did not push hard to re-sign him. They also drafted Harlan Miller out of Southeastern Louisiana but he won’t be ready to step into the starting spot right away.
Bethel has work to do to prove he belongs as the full-time starter opposite Peterson in the secondary. Bethel has already proven time and time again his value as a special-teamer. Now he needs to step up big time as a corner and give the Cardinals the consistency they are looking for.