Each of the past few offseasons, Pro Football Focus has chosen a player from each team as the "secret superstar" for the upcoming season. They have not been super accurate. in 2011, it was defensive tackle Dan Williams. He played well, but got hurt. In 2012, it was defensive lineman David Carter, who sat on the bench almost all season. In 2013, it was tackle Bobby Massie, who ended up being benched in favor of veteran Eric Winston. In 2014, it was running back Andre Ellington, who struggled with injuries and ended up on injured reserve after 12 games.
So who is it for 2015? They have chosen tight end Darren Fells.
Fells played sparingly early in the season, but earned more and more snaps over the second half of the year.
However Fells forced his way back into the reckoning late in the year, playing 195 snaps in the last five weeks of the regular season, not far short of the snaps posted by Carlson and Housler combined (217). In that five-week span, Fells posted a +6.2 overall grade, and a +4.5 run-blocking grade, both marks ranked second among tight ends...
As a body of work it's too little to read much into, but Fells' aptitude as a blocker fits Arians' blueprint for a tight end, and should ensure he has a larger role in 2015.
Fells certainly showed promise. He didn't drop a pass. He was solid in blocking. But, more importantly, he is the most experienced tight end on the roster now. Barring injury, he should get a ton of playing time.
Perhaps this is the year PFF gets it right for the Cardinals.