The talented Arizona Cardinals tight end could ultimately emerge as one of the most pleasant surprises of the 2020 campaign
Back in December of 2019, the front office of the Arizona Cardinals made a move that flew under the radar. Just one day after his release from the New Orleans Saints, tight end Dan Arnold was headed to the desert. The Cards immediately found a role for the talented pass-catcher, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury may have even bigger plans for Arnold in 2020.
For quite a few years now, the tight end has been an underutilized component of the Arizona scoring attack. That trend didn’t change much last season with Kingsbury doing the play-calling. However, Arnold’s ability to make plays downfield could cause the coaching staff to take another look at the situation.
During his three appearances (one start) with the Cardinals last year, Arnold flashed some exciting potential as an offensive performer. The 25-year old hauled in just six passes, but two of them went for touchdowns. Even more impressive was the fact that Arnold averaged a wideout-like 17 yards per reception.
Actually, Arnold’s size could almost put him in the wide receiver category. At 6’6, 220 pounds, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville product could certainly be classified as a “tweener”. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of NFL receivers who weigh more (like Arizona’s Hakeem Butler) than the lanky Arnold.
Arnold was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Saints back in 2017. In 15 career games (two starts) as a professional, the former practice squad player has totaled 20 catches for 277 yards and three scores. Coincidentally, 15 of those receptions have resulted in first downs.
At the moment, former Baltimore Raven Maxx Williams is the number-one tight end on the Cards depth chart. Former Indianapolis Colt and Seattle Seahawk Darrell Daniels is also on the roster. There’s also a possibility that the Cardinals could add to the position during the upcoming draft.
The sky appears to be the limit for Arnold in Kingsbury’s “Air Raid” system. Perhaps the Wisconsin native will be the one who puts the tight end back on the map for the Arizona franchise. It’s certainly one area of the team’s offensive unit that’s been ignored for long enough.