After selecting Patrick Peterson with the fifth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, not many people were of the assumption that the Cardinals would then turn around and select another cornerback with a high pick in the 2012 draft. Such was the case when they selected Jamell Fleming, a corner out of Oklahoma in the third round.
There has already been plenty of praise from the rookie's defense coordinator, Ray Horton. Now it appears that the national media is catching on to Fleming's potential as well.
Mike Sando from ESPN claims that Fleming is one of the players that he is most looking forward to watching next season. As he notes, the NFC West has really made the cornerback position a priority in recent years. With the NFL becoming a passing league, it appears that this division is catching on to the trend sooner rather than later.
But Sando and Horton are not the only two people excited to see what Fleming can do. Ken Whisenhunt has also spoken very highly of the young player (via ESPN):
"He's been a productive player at a big-time program, one that has played in some big-time games against good talent, so you like that. But the thing that jumped off the film to me was his quickness. Even watching him out here and doing some of the stuff inside in the nickel, his change of direction is really, really outstanding. You like to see that. He's a competitive guy, he's big, he was physical off the tape, which is one of the things you like."
Yes, everyone looks good in shorts with no pads on, as Whiz always says, but talking up a player so highly so early on is never a bad thing. It truly will be quite interesting to see what the rookie can do for the Cards this season and beyond.