3 winners and 3 losers from the Cardinals 2021 preseason

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Byron Murphy
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Byron Murphy /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Byron Murphy /

Byron Murphy – CB

For a while, Byron Murphy heard from critics that he was no more than a slot corner. Perhaps it’s one reason Steve Keim went out and re-signed Robert Alford after briefly releasing him, signed Malcolm Butler, and drafted two corners this year. But Murphy ended his preseason by picking off Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the end zone.

Murphy also had a good game against the Dallas Cowboys during the previous week and he has shown that he can perhaps be the team’s top corner moving forward. Especially with Butler now retired and Alford on the wrong side of 30.

Murphy, who measures in at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, played his college ball at Washington. He’s slightly undersized, which could justify why many experts thought he was best suited in the slot.

Murphy did not record an interception in 2020, though he proved himself in other areas after recovering two fumbles and recording two sacks. He also improved in coverage last season, allowing a 65.4 completion percentage, an improvement from 69.6 percent allowed in 2019.

He allowed nine touchdowns in 2019 and just two in 2020, while opposing quarterback ratings against him dropped from 111.2 to 92.5.