Arizona Cardinals: Marlon Mack signing creates a legitimate running back committee

When the Arizona Cardinals signed Marlon Mack on Friday, they added a proven NFL player to boost an underwhelming position group.
Dec 18, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos running back Marlon Mack (37) dives with the
Dec 18, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos running back Marlon Mack (37) dives with the / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

As you know, the Arizona Cardinals signed Marlon Mack on Friday, boosting a running back room that had next to nothing behind RB1 James Conner. And while Mack has posted underwhelming numbers since 2019, at least there was a time when he couldn’t just play, but was seen as one of the league’s better backs. 

Sure, the previous three seasons have been rough on the former 1,000-yard rusher, but Mack is also a complete back whose presence will create a strong running back committee in the desert if everyone stays healthy. Mack is roughly 6’0, 210 lbs, giving him decent size, and his speed is also fair, having run a 4.50 at the NFL Combine back in 2017. 

This serves as a perfect contrast to the 6’1, 233 lbs James Conner, whose punishing style gives the Cardinals an upper-echelon power back. Together, they can serve as a one-two combo, but there is another back in the room who, if he makes the team, can become the speed back. 

Marlon Mack can balanced the Arizona Cardinals backfield

Emari Demercado is one back to keep an eye on when it comes to becoming the smaller, speedier back on the committee. Still behind the eight-ball for making the team at this point, the 5’9, 215 lb Demercado ran a 4.44 at the NFL Combine and put up 19 reps on the bench press, giving the sturdy back a little more power than many his size. 

If Demercado doesn’t make it, then perhaps Keaontay Ingram can serve as the RB3, assuming Mack factors in as the RB2. Ingram did little last season, but at 6’0, 215 lbs, he has a similar build to Mack, and like Conner, he also has enough strength to be a power back. 

Ty’Son Williams also carries decent size, and as mentioned in previous pieces, he’s seen some success in the NFL when given the chance. Far from a proven player, Williams has at least shown he can play the role as a solid RB3. 

Finally, Corey Clement could be the dark horse of such a committee. Clement has also seen success in this league, thanks to a moderately productive rookie season, but his special teams value could give him a spot on the team, and with it, reps in the backfield. 

As you can see, the backs mentioned above are by no means inspiring, but they either have the potential to fit into a limited role as an RB3 thanks to Mack’s presence. If the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos back finds a spot on the Arizona Cardinals as an RB2, he could be the missing link to at least a serviceable committee in a run-heavy offense.


(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)