The Arizona Cardinals have quite the mix of talent on the team. They have some very good veteran players and a young core of players that will be very good for a long time.
In fact, in a CBS Sports series that construct both the best teams made up of players over 30 years old and under 25, Arizona Cardinals could be found all over those hypothetical rosters.
In the over-30 team that Pat Kirwan built, he included Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Dockett and John Abraham. Fitz is one of the starting receivers with Brandon Marshall, while Dockett and Abraham are reserves. Also on the roster is Karlos Dansby, who recently left the Cardinals to sign a free agent contract with the Cleveland Browns.
The under-25 team, as constructed by Pete Prisco, has a few more Cardinals. It includes Michael Floyd, Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu.
Peterson gets the start at cornerback with Desmond Trufant. Floyd and Mathieu are reserves at receiver and safety.
Give it a season and you might see guard Jonathan Cooper on that list as well and maybe even Andre Ellington.
Among the older players, you could make the argument that punter Dave Zastudil deserves a spot, but it would be hard to supplant Seattle's Jon Ryan.
What is cool about this is you can see the balance in youth and experience on the team. It is exactly what the team is trying to do -- use veteran leaders that produce and build up the young talent at the same time.
The framework is in place. To be successful in 2014, the veterans will need to continue their production and these younger players will need to take steps forward their development.
How do you think this will turn out? Who do you see as taking steps forward? Who will take a step back?
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