Cardinals rookie corner is hoping to move up the depth chart

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Marco Wilson
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Marco Wilson /

Cornerback Marco Wilson is out to show the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff that he’s worthy of regular-season playing time.

In the weeks leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft, many prognosticators believed that the Arizona Cardinals would be selecting a cornerback with their first-round choice. The front office took linebacker Zaven Collins instead, bypassing top-rated cover guys such as Caleb Farley, Greg Newsome II, and Eric Stokes.

As it turned out, the Cards didn’t bother taking a corner until the draft’s third day. In the fourth round, the club grabbed Marco Wilson, a prospect out of the University of Florida. Early returns indicate that Arizona general manager Steve Keim and his cohorts may have acquired a bargain.

Last Friday night, Wilson enjoyed an impressive debut against the Dallas Cowboys. There were a couple of pass breakups for the rookie, one that almost resulted in an interception. Wilson was also credited with four solo tackles, a sure sign that the youngster enjoys the physical aspect of the game as well.

Wilson’s first impression on the Cardinals coaching staff was a good one. It remains to be seen, however, if the 22-year-old can do enough in the preseason to convince defensive coordinator Vance Joseph that he’s worthy of regular-season playing time.

Rookie corner has veterans ahead of him on the Arizona Cardinals depth chart

Standing in the way of Wilson on the Cards’ current depth chart is a trio of talented veterans. The 6-foot, 190-pounder would likely have to perform extremely well over the next few weeks to leapfrog any of the three in the eyes of the coaches.

Byron Murphy, a third-year professional, could be on the verge of a breakout performance for the Arizona defense. Malcolm Butler, a free agent who was signed back in March, is coming off of a fantastic campaign with the Tennessee Titans. Robert Alford missed the last two seasons with injuries, but the former Atlanta Falcons starter is promising to make up for lost time in 2021.

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Can Wilson earn the trust of Joseph and make it into the lineup when the Cards meet the Titans in Week 1? If the Florida native continues to perform like he did during the win over Dallas, that scenario is certainly a possibility.