The Arizona Cardinals are a young team in 2023, and since they have a weaker slate of veterans on the roster, we could very well see some undrafted rookies take charge this season. Oftentimes, undrafted free agents don’t last beyond training camp, but the Cards are no strangers to seeing one succeed every now and again.
With a few weak position groups on the roster, someone who didn’t hear their name called in April may surprise you. Here are three rookies to keep an eye on this season.
3 undrafted rookies who could impact Arizona Cardinals
1 - Emari Demercado, RB
Emari Demercado walks into a running backs room with only one proven player on the depth chart. James Conner will be the unquestioned RB1, but he is also injury-prone and would fare better if someone stepped up and became an adequate RB2.
Neither Corey Clement, Ty’Son Williams, nor Keaontay Ingram will give us much hope that they can be the guys, but Demercado, at this point, is a mystery. He has an excellent opportunity to step into camp and open the season on the 53-man roster as the RB2.
2 - Jacob Slade, DL
Like Demercado, Jacob Slade is walking into what could be the NFL’s weakest position group. At 315 lbs, Slade fits well as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 look, but he could also line up at defensive end in a 3-4 defense, giving him some versatility.
If the likes of L.J. Collier, Carlos Watkins, and Jonathan Ledbetter fail to produce in camp and in the preseason, it could open the door for Slade if he enjoys an impressive showing. It will be interesting to watch him, sixth-round pick Dante Stills, and even cast-off Ben Stille toward the end of the month and through August.
3 - Brian Cobbs, WR
Michael Wilson and Zach Pascal bring size to the Arizona Cardinals receiving unit, but Brian Cobbs could sneak into the lineup if the Cards are looking to balance their larger receivers with their three smaller targets expected to make the team.
Cobbs could further provide insurance if he doesn’t immediately make the 53-man roster with the injury-prone Michael Wilson and Rondale Moore in the lineup. If one, the other, or both miss time with injuries, then Cobbs could be the first call-up.