Despite surprising play from rookie linebacker Daryl Washington and FA pickup Paris Lenon, the LB core performed dismally last year and has left us fans with questions about the future of the position with the Cards, especially at the OLB position.
After the break is a list of the current LB's on the roster.
First look gives us the usual suspects, Haggens, Porter, and Hayes as well as relative unknowns like Cyril Obiozor, Will Davis, Pago Togafau and Reggie Walker whom have played very few snaps during the course of their careers.
As the starters and rookies have been well documented we will take a look at the lesser known men and see if any of them offer potential to contribute next season.
Togafau has been in the league four years and has played a total of 15 games with no starts, while being inactive all of 2010. Togafau has decent athleticism running a 4.64 forty at just around 240lbs. He was 1st team all-conference in the Big Sky, a D1-AA division, for Idaho State. Scout.com says he has good instincts and aggressiveness and needs improvement in pass coverage and lateral movement.
Walker is going into his 3rd year as a pro and has played a total of 18 games all for the Cardinals. Though in those 18 games he has only registered 20 tackles, most of which were on special teams and limited action on the field. His strengths coming into the draft can be seen here Reggie Walker.
Obiozor has bounced around the league starting with Strohman's beloved Green Bay Packers, the Chargers and is now with the Cardinals. He has played in a total of 13 games, 6 with the Cardinals but only registered 4 tackles, all on special teams. He runs a 4.74 40 at 249lbs. His strengths and weaknesses can be read here Cyril Obiozor. Overall it states him as having the tools but just not ever producing.
Davis is entering his third year with the Cards as a converted DE from Illinois. Davis has played in 21 games with 3 starts for the Cards registering 33 total tackles and 3 sacks and is by and far the most productive of the group listed here. If not for a leg injury last season is it definite that he would have a contributing member of the LB core. His strengths and weaknesses from the draft can be found here Will Davis.
Going into next year I can see Davis fighting for a starting spot among the OLB's. He is an underrated player that while not the most athletic is tenacious in his pursuit. Him and O'Brien Schofield could turn into a nice tandem with Sam Acho spelling them. Add in Daryl Washington and it appears on paper the the Cards have a young and talent group of LB's that could greatly help new defensive coordinator Ray Horton.
Throw in Dan Williams, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Greg Toler and Patrick Peterson and it has become apparent the Cardinals have gone through a complete youth movement on defense. All that waits is to see if the youth can perform at the level we all hope for.