There are several members of the Arizona Cardinals rookie class who could earn significant playing time during the 2019 campaign
Heading into last month’s draft, the Arizona Cardinals were armed with plenty of ammunition. General manager Steve Keim had 11 selections at his disposal, and ended up using every one of them. The Cards’ rookie class is an impressive one, and it appears that several of the players could see significant playing time early on in the season.
Kyler Murray, the club’s first-overall pick, is pretty much guaranteed to be on the playing field from day one. Arizona has handed the keys to the castle to their new quarterback, and are expecting great things from their investment. The organization has gone out on a limb to accomodate the former Oklahoma Sooner, and he’ll be given every chance to succeed.
The Cardinals’ second-round choice, Byron Murphy, is another first-year prospect who could contribute early on. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury stated that he was thrilled that the University of Washington cornerback was still available at pick #33. Veterans Patrick Peterson and Robert Alford will be the starters, but Murphy should see action in the squad’s nickel and dime defenses.
With the second of their second-round selections, the Cards drafted University of Massachusetts wide receiver Andy Isabella. While Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk sit at the top of the depth chart, the 62nd player drafted should earn plenty of snaps. While many view Isabella as a slot guy, the wideout’s blazing speed could prompt Kingsbury to use him on the outside as well.
Another rookie who has a very good chance of playing from the get-go is third-rounder Zach Allen. Keim and his crew had the defensive end out of Boston College rated as a first-round talent. Corey Peters and Darius Philon should occupy two of the spots on the front line, but Allen may have the inside track on the third one.
Kingsbury’s propensity for using four and five-wide receiver sets should benefit Arizona’s fourth-round choice. Hakeem Butler should be utilized quite often in the team’s new “Air Raid” offense. The Iowa State product was drafted 103rd-overall, but the Cardinals were pleasantly surprised that he wasn’t gobbled up much earlier.
Keeping their fifth-round selection on the sidelines may also be a tough task for the Cards’ coaching staff. Many draft experts had a first or second round grade on Alabama’s Deionte Thompson. The safety, like second-rounder Murphy, has the coverage skills to be on the field when the nickel and dime defenses are deployed.
Playing time for the remainder of the organization’s selections is also not out of the question. But the six players mentioned in this article are primed and ready to play a huge factor for Arizona in 2019. It appears as if Keim and company may have supplied the franchise with an excellent group of draft picks this time around.