Arizona Cardinals: Sophomore slump better be a myth
By Zackary Maus
Overcoming the Sophomore Slump
The Arizona Cardinals selected Robert Nkemdiche in the 2016 NFL draft 29th overall. Nkemdiche had an underwhelming rookie year and battled injuries throughout his debut season. Despite his slow start, we easily brushed it under the rug due to Calais Campbell’s veteran presence.
Campbell was in the final year of his contract and we weren’t able to resign him for this upcoming season. I honestly believe Steve Keim saw Calais’ departure evident, which is why we selected Nkemdiche in the 2016 draft.
With all that being said, Nkemdiche went MIA in the Cards debut HOF game this past Thursday against Dallas. He ended up with only a singular tackle to end the night; less impressive compared to rookies Rudy Ford and Budda Baker who came away with a total of 16 tackles together.
Now by no means am I saying Nkemdiche is a bust of a 1st round draft pick, It’s far too early to say anything like that. All I’m saying is that I want to see more out of him. I did watch the HOF game and felt like the box score didn’t do Robert complete justice. He was looking aggressive out there and just looked like he was having fun, which is a good sign.
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BUT it’s also fair for him to be held to a higher standard, considering the shoes he’s filling. Calais Campbell was iconic in Arizona, his departure was absolutely devastating.
All in all I believe Nkemdiche can kick things into next gear, I just hope it’s sooner rather than later. Arians and Keim both obviously saw something special in this kid, and we as fans must trust the process.
Hopefully 2017 will be the start to a new era for our Cards, a younger more energized bunch. Chandler Jones, Robert Nkemdiche, and Marcus Golden. With our secondary.. The future is looking bright in the desert.