The Arizona Cardinals secondary is going to surprise its critics in 2023

Kansas City Chiefs placekicker Harrison Butker (7) makes a field goal as holder Tommy Townsend (5)
Kansas City Chiefs placekicker Harrison Butker (7) makes a field goal as holder Tommy Townsend (5) / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

Once again, the Arizona Cardinals have a position group reserved for the bottom five. This time, it’s the defensive backs.

PFF has yet to have a friendly thing to say about the Arizona Cardinals. And to a degree, I get it-the Cards aren’t going to be making the playoffs this season unless they continually find ways to fool defenses. 

But regardless of who you are, even the best teams have their respective weaknesses and the worst teams have their strengths. And the same holds true for the Redbirds, whose secondary has the talent and depth to sneak up and surprise a few critics, PFF included. 

So where did John Kosko rank the Cards defensive backs? 29th out of a possible 32 teams. Yeah, pretty sad to say the least. But should the Redbirds corners and safeties really be ranked this low?

Arizona Cardinals defensive backs better than 29th overall

Safeties Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson, as I’ve said numerous times, are among the best safety duos in the NFL. Baker, despite being in a contract dispute at the moment, will be back on the field alongside Thompson once it’s resolved. 

Marco Wilson put together an incredible bounce back season after he struggled as a rookie in 2021. And while it’s true Antonio Hamilton is not a long-term fixture, Garrett Williams has more than enough potential to take over the veteran’s starting spot once he’s cleared to play. 

Then there’s Isaiah Simmons, who should be the team’s nickelback this season if the Cards decide not to use him at safety, which is still a possibility. Although Simmons struggled last season, he will have a full training camp to hone his game in the secondary, which should work wonders. 

Sadly, Kosko only mentioned Baker and Simmons in their notoriously brief assessment of the Arizona Cardinals secondary, failing to even touch base with what Wilson and Thompson accomplished last season, or the fact the Cards have a rookie in Williams who could have been a first round pick had he not suffered a serious knee injury.

Source: 2023 NFL secondary rankings: New York Jets, Miami Dolphins take top spots by John Kosko,