Yesterday it was noted that the Arizona Cardinals did not have a single undrafted rookie make their 53-man roster. I shared that it was not a bad thing necessarily because it seems that this year the team has more overall talent. I chose that over the reason that has been given a lot -- the NFL lockout -- because of what I saw at training camp for the almost week I was up there and because of the moves the team made.
On Sunday, ESPN's John Clayton tweeted an interesting fact that I found telling.
He tweeted this fact, which, in fact, refutes in many ways what people have said about the lockout being a reason for many undrafted players not making NFL final rosters:
In the cutdown to 53, 62 undrafted players made the rosters. That's surprisingly high. Last year, 51 made opening day rosters.
Obviously, teams are not done moving players around, so there will likely be a few less by the end of the week when games start, but it shows that the lockout did not hamper these undrafted players.
What about the Cardinals?
They, of course, did not have a single undrafted rookie make their final roster. In a preseason that led to more undrafted players making final rosters than last year, you have to look at the fact of greater talent being the reason why the Cards didn't have a single one. The Tennessee Titans were the only other team not to have an undrafted rookie make the team.
I will contend again that this is a very good thing. Undrafted rookies make great stories, but not many make significant contributions as a rookie.
I would love to see the Cardinals consistently have the talent to make it virtually impossible to make the team as an undrafted rookie. That would make it so only the most outstanding player could crack the roster. That way, the practice squad could be used for these players to develop on the team and be set to make an impact possibly in their second year out of college.
Look at A.J. Jefferson. Is his story any less intriguing? I would say no. He is going to be a starter this year.
So again, I am looking at this year's roster as a much more talented roster than a year ago. As a result, the regular season should be much more exciting to watch and enjoy.