The Arizona Cardinals are a 2-10 team that happens to boast a stellar rookie class, as most who have seen the field this year have made contributions. Jon Gaines is missing the entire season while Clayton Tune is a backup, and Owen Pappoe has seen time primarily on special teams, but outside of that trio, the Cards have had one of the better classes in the league.
A pair of those contributors have been Day 3 picks, with cornerback Kei’Trel Clark and defensive tackle Dante Stills playing for more football than the average sixth-round rookies would. Clark has struggled, but a good showing last week could foreshadow improvement for the final five games while Dante Stills has played very good football since Week 5, but against the AFC North, he’s taken his game to another level.
Arizona Cardinals rookie has been outstanding vs. AFC North
Dante Stills has been impressive for a 213th overall pick who just one year ago today, was still a relatively unknown draft prospect. But against the AFC North, he’s recorded 16 combined tackles, four tackles for loss, four quarterback hits, and 2.5 sacks.
Against everyone else, Stills has 21 tackles, one tackle for loss, one quarterback hit, and just one sack. Not bad numbers, especially for a rookie selected on Day 3 of the NFL Draft, but as you can see, his stats are nowhere near what he’s done when playing the Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, or Cleveland Browns.
Therefore, Stills should give us yet another epic performance against the Arizona Cardinals final AFC North opponent of the season. But unlike what we have seen from him in the past, let’s get bold and say he records a career-high seven tackles, two stops behind the line, and three quarterback hits.
Such an outing would be Stills’ best of the season, and it will more than set the stage for perhaps an even better 2024 when he likely wins a starting spot.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)