The Arizona Cardinals may look to second-round draft pick Byron Murphy to solve their ongoing number-two cornerback conundrum
It’s the same old story for the Arizona Cardinals’ secondary. Year after year, the club muddles through the offseason, not knowing who their number-two cornerback will be. Don’t look now, but it appears that the Cards may have finally found a solution to the annual dilemma.
Byron Murphy, drafted by Arizona in the second round this past April, has been turning heads during the OTAs. So much so, in fact, that the coaching staff seems to be perfectly willing to install the cover guy as their opening-day starter. Sticking to the NFL’s best wide receivers would be incredibly challenging, but Murphy appears to be more than capable of handling that assignment.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim has made acquiring corners a priority over the past few months. The announcement that Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson would have to serve a six-game suspension for ingesting PEDs was a shock to those who follow the team. We’ve since learned that Keim was aware of the situation much sooner, however, which would explain the aggressive attention that he paid to the position.
The cornerback additions started all of the way back in early February. Robert Alford, who had been recently released by the Atlanta Falcons, was the first one added to the nest. Two months later, during the first week of April, veteran Tramaine Brock was brought on board.
Keim obviously thought he needed even more insurance for Peterson’s upcoming absence, so Murphy was taken with the draft’s 33rd-overall pick. Another move made by management this past Thursday added fuel to the talk that the University of Washington product could get the starting nod this fall. Cover guy David Amerson, who many believed would vie for significant playing time in 2019, was unceremoniously given his walking papers.
Murphy was impressive in his two collegiate campaigns with the Huskies. In six games as a freshman, the youngster tallied seven passes defensed, two interceptions and 13 tackles. Last year, Murphy racked up 37 tackles, four picks and 13 pass breakups in 14 appearances as a sophomore.
Perhaps the organization has finally done it. There’s legitimate hope that Murphy will be the answer at the number-two cornerback post that has alluded them for quite some time now. Finding a suitable candidate to line up across from Peterson in the Cards’ defensive backfield was something that was long overdue.