Talented young Cardinals secondary could thrive for years

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Jalen Thompson
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Jalen Thompson /

The Arizona Cardinals have acquired several young defensive backs who could thrive with the franchise for many years to come.

This past Sunday, the defensive unit of the Arizona Cardinals made big play after big play against a bewildered Chicago Bears offense.

Leading the way for coordinator Vance Joseph’s fifth-ranked group was a secondary that features a plethora of talented youngsters. A contingent of defensive backs who could be employed by the Cardinals for many years to come.

Cards general manager Steve Keim deserves a ton of praise for acquiring such an impressive array of talent over the past several offseasons. Defenders such as Budda Baker, Byron Murphy, Jalen Thompson, and Marco Wilson have been huge contributors to the team’s surprising 10-2 start.

Arizona Cardinals young defensive backs were outstanding this past weekend

In the biting cold and gusty winds at Chicago’s Soldier Field this past Sunday, the Arizona defensive backfield enjoyed one of their most productive outings of the 2021 campaign. Leading the way was the underappreciated Thompson, who recorded 10 tackles, an interception, and a pass breakup during the 33-22 win over the Bears. It was the 23-year-old’s first-quarter pick that led to the Cardinals’ first points of the day.

The 23-year-old Murphy was also magnificent for the Redbirds. Arizona’s second-round pick back in 2019 registered six tackles, an interception, and two pass breakups versus Chicago. Murphy also teamed with edge-rusher Chandler Jones on a second-quarter sack of Bears quarterback Andy Dalton.

Baker, a three-time Pro Bowler, made his presence felt in week 13 as well. The 25-year-old contributed one of the most electrifying plays of the afternoon in the first quarter when he raced 77 yards with another Dalton interception. Baker also was credited with five tackles and a pass breakup against Chicago.

Cornerback Marco Wilson, a rookie out of the University of Florida, also joined in on the fun in the “Windy City”. The 22-year-old provided tight coverage and tallied three solo tackles during the Cards victory.

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Having four significant members of the secondary excelling at such an early point in their NFL careers bodes well for the future of the Cardinals’ defense. Kudos to the front office for assembling such a youthful and outstanding foursome.