Bad football team or not, the Arizona Cardinals have plenty of players in their lineup worthy of making their first Pro Bowl appearances. This is why I hesitate to call the Cards a “bad football team.” They are a young team with a youth movement long overdue thanks to former general manager Steve Keim rolling with older talent on a near-annual basis.
However, Keim snagged a few solid picks among his many misses, and a pair of them have a realistic chance of earning their first respective Pro Bowl nods in 2023. Another player listed below is part of the Cardinals rookie class, and he can also exceed expectations this season.
3 Arizona Cardinals who could make their first Pro Bowl in 2023
1 - Jalen Thompson, S
One of the better defenders against the run, Arizona Cardinals safety Jalen Thompson isn’t on the same level as Budda Baker, but he’s produced Pro Bowl-caliber statistics in the past. While Thompson’s coverage skills need to improve, having allowed a 111.6 quarterback rating last season, he should have more help over the top with a fast-rising Marco Wilson plus the serviceable Antonio Hamilton, and rookie Kei’Trel Clark.
Thompson could also find himself playing slot corner if the Cardinals continue to line up in three safety sets. And if he produces even solid coverage this season, it’s all he needs to snag his first career Pro Bowl berth. This becomes especially true if his skills in stopping the run increase to an even greater extent following a season when he missed just four tackles and snagged 109 total.
Thompson’s potential Pro Bowl nod could be even more special if Baker snags yet another berth, which could solidify the tandem as the NFL’s best. Even if he falls short yet again, Thompson will nonetheless be fun to watch in 2023.