Grading the Arizona Cardinals defensive backs for 2023 (Top position group?)

Nov 27, 2022; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defenders Budda Baker (3) and Isaiah Simmons (9)
Nov 27, 2022; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defenders Budda Baker (3) and Isaiah Simmons (9) / Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY

The Arizona Cardinals defensive backs have potential to become the best position group on this young team. Here is how they currently stack up.

The Arizona Cardinals currently have a dozen corners on their roster, and that number will at least be cut in half once they cut the roster to 53 players. Yet in many cases, we can already peg in a few shoo-ins:

  • Budda Baker (assuming there is no ultimate holdout)
  • Jalen Thompson
  • Marco Wilson
  • Antonio Hamilton
  • Isaiah Simmons
  • Garrett Williams
  • Kei-Trel Clark

From that group, there are four incredible talents in Baker, Thompson, Wilson, and Simmons, with another pair in Williams and Clark brimming with potential under them. Therefore, despite a supposedly weak roster, you should be excited about the Redbirds defensive backs. 

Arizona Cardinals have underrated, yet incredible secondary

We know how formidable Baker and Thompson can be, and both are young enough to remain mainstays in the desert for years. So when it comes to Baker’s contract, general manager Monti Ossenfort needs to get a deal done with an All-Pro safety who is also an incredible leader. 

Thompson will continue making plays, and you can expect Wilson to at least make a run at locking down the CB1 spot this season. Last year, he was one of the team’s breakout players, and he can develop into a top 15 corner if he makes another leap. 

Simmons should be the nickel back, but there are numerous possibilities regarding the former star backer. Maybe the Cards get creative and line him up as a third safety, or even as a hybrid player in the defensive backfield?

Williams will be the favorite to supplant the stopgap in Antonio Hamilton, but Kei’Trel Clark is someone who I wouldn’t count out just yet. Overall, however, if either one of the two proves they become a regular cast member of the starting lineup, then the Cards have five and perhaps even six young defensive backs that could remain in the desert for years. 

So I have no qualms in giving this group, assuming everyone is attending and participating in camp, a solid A-minus.