Analyzing the Arizona Cardinals Cornerbacks (Are they that bad?)

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals
Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Arizona Cardinals look like they are thin at cornerback, with only Marco Wilson stepping in as a clear-cut starter. But are they really that bad?

The Arizona Cardinals have not had a good group of corners for what feels like an age. In 2020, the group was average, and by 2021 only Byron Murphy looked like a player who could start for more than a few teams in the NFL. 

Last season, Murphy missed most of the season with a back injury, and the group could have been horrible, but Marco Wilson stepped up and played well enough to come into 2023 as the CB1. But behind him, there seems to be an empty cupboard. Or is there? Let’s talk about it. 

Are the Arizona Cardinals cornerbacks as bad as we think?

Projected Starters: Marco Wilson, Antonio Hamilton; Nickel and Dime Backs: Isaiah Simmons, Christian Matthew, Garrett Williams; Backup: Kris Boyd; Practice Squad Candidates: Kei’Trel Clark, Quavian White; Won’t Make Cut: Rashad Fenton, Nate Hairston

Marco Wilson made a remarkable jump from a pedestrian rookie season to a year when he recorded three interceptions, deflected 10 passes, forced a fumble, and even snagged a pick six. He could develop even further this season into a legitimate CB1. 

Antonio Hamilton is a stopgap, but he’s proven himself to be more than capable of starting for an extended period. Isaiah Simmons is a star backer, but don’t be surprised if he sees time at nickel or dime, while Christian Matthew can also fill the role. 

Garrett Williams is one to watch. A torn ACL negated what was becoming a remarkable final season at Syracuse, and he could easily step into a starting role when he returns, though he will see the playing field at nickel and dime when Simmons takes reps at linebacker and even safety. 

Kris Boyd will stick to the roster because of special teams, while Kei-Trel Clark and Quavian White find their respective ways onto the practice squad. Rashad Fenton and Nate Hairston are the odd men out. 

So is this group as bad as everyone thinks? They could be, but Wilson could also take the next step and morph into a clear-cut CB1 while Garrett Williams returns strong, and Christian Matthew becomes a solid nickel while Isaiah Simmons supplements. 

Overall, this group probably won’t light up the league. But they could be far better than advertised. 

Related. Analyzing the Arizona Cardinals linebackers for 2023. dark

(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)