Arizona Cardinals have a trio of tackling machines at linebacker
Tackling will not be an issue with Isaiah Simmons, Zaven Collins and Kyzir White starting at linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals in 2023.
The first week of free agency has come and gone, and the Arizona Cardinals front office has done very little. First-year general manager Monti Ossenfort has remained predominantly quiet while other NFL executives have acquired players who can improve their roster.
Ossenfort's most significant addition to the roster thus far is Kyzir White, a free-agent linebacker from the Philadelphia Eagles. The 26-year-old has been acquired to complete a starting group that already includes Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins. Take one look at the numbers of the young trio and you'll see that tackling shouldn't be an issue with a linebacking corps that's loaded with potential.
Last fall, White recorded an outstanding 110 total tackles for Philly's number-two ranked defensive unit. Even more impressive is the fact that the 26-year-old racked up those statistics in just eight starts for the Eagles. Having already played in Arizona head coach Jonathan Gannon's system, White should be well ahead of the curve when the squad convenes for OTAs this spring.
Linebacking corps has the talent to be the strength of the Arizona Cardinals defensive unit
The 6 foot 2, 230 pound White was also a tackling machine for the Los Angeles Chargers back in 2021. In 17 starts that season, the former fourth-round draft pick was credited with an eye-popping 144 stops. There's no reason to believe that White can't repeat that performance if he's afforded the same amount of playing time with the Cardinals.
Over the past two campaigns, Simmons has also proven to be a sure-fire tackler. Last fall, the 6 foot 4, 237 pounder tallied 99 tackles, despite being unfairly benched by a clueless coordinator (Vance Joseph) who didn't know how to use him. In 2021, Simmons totaled an excellent 105 stops in his 17 starts for the Cards.
After coming to the desert as the 16th-overall selection in '21, Zaven Collins really shined for Arizona in 2022. In just 16 starts, the 6 foot 4, 260 pounder reached the triple-digits (100) in stops. There's a general feeling around the Cardinals organization that the best is yet to come from the 23-year-old Collins.
While there are obvious holes to fill on defense, the Cards are in possession of what could be a special contingent of linebackers. Having three starters who are capable of hitting the 100-tackle mark could make things much easier for new coordinator Nick Rallis. Hopefully, Ossenfort will eventually get to work on upgrading the defensive line and the cornerback position as well.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)