Arizona Cardinals hoping some can reach next level
Certain members of the Arizona Cardinals have the ability to be more productive and consistent than they’ve been to this point
The Arizona Cardinals have seen it. Those flashes of greatness from certain members of the roster that make them believe they have something special. They wait and wait, hoping that one day their potential can be reached.
Robert Nkemdiche is the poster-child for such a player. The Cardinals were thrilled back in 2016 when the defensive lineman fell to them in the first round of the draft. Many thought it was off-the-field indiscretions that caused the tumble, but in retrospect maybe that wasn’t the reason.
Former head coach Bruce Arians questioned Nkemdiche’s maturity and drive from the get-go. The physical ability of the 6’4″, 296 pounder has never been a problem. Perhaps the next Arizona coaching staff can motivate Nkemdiche to be the dominant defender the club envisioned him to be back in ’16.
Wide receiver J.J Nelson made the Cards’ front office proud in ’16 when he tallied seven touchdowns. Their tiny (5’10”, 160) 2015 fifth-round draft pick looked like a keeper during his productive sophomore campaign. However, there are quite a few experts thinking that may have been a fluke, since Nelson reached the end zone just twice last season.
Which performance was the true indication of what the wideout can do for the Cardinals going forward? Some of the decline in numbers can be attributed directly to quarterback Carson Palmer‘s season-ending injury in 2017. At least Arizona’s management team is hoping that’s the case, and Nelson will flash the ability he showed in ’16 once again.
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Kareem Martin was afforded a huge opportunity last October when another outside linebacker, Markus Golden, tore his ACL. Although the 6’6″, 272 pounder has tremendous size and has made some big-time plays, the overall-production just wasn’t there. The Cards will need to decide what they have in Martin this offseason, since the 25-year old is bound for unrestricted free agency.
Ifeanyi Momah has shown a knack for being able to get downfield and catch the football. Unfortunately, the tight end’s progress has been impeded by leg, knee and wrist injuries over the past three years. If the 6’7″, 255 pound Momah can remain healthy, it’s possible that his NFL career could reach impressive heights.
Another tight end, Troy Niklas, has resembled (don’t laugh!) New England Patriots’ great Rob Gronkowski at times. They’re both huge specimens with excellent hands and superb running ability. But like Momah, Niklas has been sidelined way too often and may never reach his full potential due to his fragility.
Defensive back Harlan Miller has bounced back and forth between the active roster and the practice squad since he arrived in the desert. The Cardinals’ sixth-round pick in 2016 has been waived three times, but is still with the club. They obviously see something in Miller, since they continue to bring him back into the fold.
Potential is an interesting quality. Especially for the players in the league who possess it. Arizona would be a much better team if a few of their members can realize their’s.