Carlos Watkins provides hope for a dreadful Arizona Cardinals defensive line

The seventh-year veteran is the one established component of an Arizona Cardinals defensive line that could be flat-out awful in 2023.
Dallas Cowboys v New Orleans Saints
Dallas Cowboys v New Orleans Saints / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

It was far from an exciting free-agent signing period for the Arizona Cardinals this past spring. In lieu of targeting difference-making veterans, first-year general manager Monti Ossenfort instead elected to add a great deal of mediocrity to the Redbirds locker room.

One addition that could prove to be a valuable one is Carlos Watkins, a defensive lineman who spent the past two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. The 6 foot 3, 305 pounder has been credited with 69 appearances (36 starts) during his NFL career. What can Cards fans expect out of the 29-year-old defender?

Watkins entered the league back in 2017 as a fourth-round draft pick of the Houston Texans. During his four campaigns with the franchise, the former Clemson University product racked up 74 tackles (nine for a loss), four sacks and five passes defensed for the Texans.

The Arizona Cardinals will be the third organization that Carlos Watkins has suited up for in his NFL career

In March of 2021, Watkins signed a one -year contract with Dallas. During the 15 games he dressed for (14 starts) that fall, the North Carolina native posted a career-high 32 tackles. In Week 12, Watkins intercepted an errant Taysom Hill pass and rumbled 29 yards to paydirt for the only touchdown of his professional career.

Last fall, Watkins registered 26 tackles in a limited amount of playing time for the Cowboys. He made 12 appearances for "America's Team", but logged a total of just four starts in 2022.

Watkins is by far the most established member of the Arizona defensive line. The "Red Sea" has had to endure far too much of non-productive draft selections like Leki Fotu and Rashard Lawrence. Additional components such as L.J. Collier, Jonathan Ledbetter and Kevin Strong are also uninspiring.

Things could get ugly along the front wall of the Cardinals defensive unit in 2023. As with other areas of the team's roster, Ossenfort did very little to improve what appears to be a dire situation. At the very least, Watkins has arrived to provide the group with it's one bit of fresh air.


(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)