With rookie mini-camp, the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff gets the opportunity to evaluate the rookies on their own without the veterans around taking reps away from them. When that happens, players can stand out and can also be exposed.
The team brought in 17 undrafted rookies for tryouts. Mainly they are there to allow the team to have enough players at all positions to practice. Sometimes, though, they can catch the coaches' eyes.
Head coach Bruce Arians said he "was real pleased with a couple of the tryout guys," who "appeared to not only have the skill set, but they could handle the knowledge and the information."
There was one player that I noticed in that sense -- South Carolina cornerback Jimmy Legree. I saw him get praised by the staff and he also had an interception.
Arians also put the pressure on a few of the rookies, too. "A little disappointed in a couple of the rookies that have been here for eight days with the number of mental errors we had out there," he said after practice on Friday.
Arians was very clear about how he and his staff work -- they don't care how young a player is or how he joined the team -- they will keep the best players. In the case of these tryout players and the other rookies, if they feel the tryout guys can handle the learning, which Arians "puts a premium on," they will make roster moves.
"We'll swap them out," said the head coach. "That's the cold part of the business. Every single day you're being evaluated."
From what was noticeable from the sidelines, sixth round draft pick Walt Powell had some struggles. He dropped some passes and even lined up wrong at least once, which got him yelled at.
Arians has been extremely impressed by third round receiver John Brown. He was held out of practice on Friday with a tight hamstring.
"I'm going to be real careful with him," Arians said when asked about Brown's injury. "He was too impressive the first few days, not only speed and catching the ball, but he didn't make any mistakes. One of the first rookies I've ever had in the first three days to not show up on the busted assignment sheet."
After rookie camp is over, we will see if the team makes any roster changes. Sunday will conclude their rookie mini-camp.