Arizona Cardinals defense can turn lethal with Micah Parsons
By Jim Koch
Back in April of 2020, the Arizona Cardinals selected linebacker Isaiah Simmons during the first round of the NFL Draft. The club’s front office was genuinely thrilled when the highly-touted defender was still available for them with the eighth-overall pick. Now, almost a year later, there’s another linebacker who could be on the Cards radar when the 2021 draft’s opening night rolls around.
Micah Parsons, a tackling machine out of Penn State University, would be an outstanding addition to the Arizona defense. The two-year starter for the Nittany Lions last played in 2019, when he was named a Consensus All-American. Parsons, along with many other collegiate athletes, elected to opt out of last year’s campaign due to COVID-19 concerns.
What Parsons accomplished as a sophomore for Penn State in ’19 was nothing short of spectacular. In 13 games for the school, the 6’3, 254 pounder recorded a whopping 109 tackles (14 for a loss) and five quarterback sacks. Parsons also flashed his coverage skills by swatting away five pass attempts that were thrown in his direction.
In 2018, as a freshman starter, Parsons registered 82 tackles,1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in the 13 matchups he dressed for. The Pennsylvania native was named First-team Freshman All-American for his efforts.
There are some draftniks who believe that alleged “character issues” could cause Parsons to drop a bit in the draft. The 21-year old prospect is not worried. “We all made mistakes when we were 17 or 18, and I’m not going to let it control or dictate the person I am now”.
The Cardinals would likely line Parsons up at the inside linebacker spot, right next to the 22-year old Simmons. Essentially, the franchise would be set at the position for the next decade or so if both players reached their potential. The current starter stationed next to Simmons, veteran Jordan Hicks, could quite possibly be entering his final year with the Redbirds.
Arizona could go in several different directions with the draft’s 16th-overall selection. The addition of a difference-making linebacker is certainly an option. There’s a definite chance that Parsons could be the guy when the draft gets rolling on April 29th.