After one week of pre-season work, we can now say we know a little bit about the 2015 Arizona Cardinals draft class.
While there was not a lot to go off of, we did get a good look at some of the guys, here are some of my initial thoughts.
DJ Humphries: Hump showed some juice in his game, consistently winning at the point on run plays, at times even physically dominating backers and defensive backs on the second level. He had some issues when lined up against Dezman Moses, Kansas City's second team pass rusher, but when he was playing against inferior competition, he did well. Overall, Humphries saw 45 snaps on offense, and did well, apparently not well enough to earn the RT1 position... yet.
Markus Golden: Much like DJ, Golden saw a good number of snaps, playing in 41 defensive plays and on 16 special teams snaps. Golden was hit and miss. He flashed some moments in the run game and rushing the passer, but he lacked the explosiveness to finish plays, and looked lost at times trying to keep contain.His growth may be slightly stunted with the positive play of second year OLB Kareem Martin, but Golden will have plenty of chances this year to make an impact, he'll just have to finish.
David Johnson: Hey, at least he is practicing again.
Rodney Gunter: The best rookie of the bunch, at least by my grades, from game one, Gunter played 34 defensive snaps and 11 special teams snaps. Gunter obviously had the highlight of the game with his sack and safety, but he showed consistent burst and energy against the run, which is going to get him more playing time throughout the year if he can keep that up.
J.J. Nelson: Nelson saw 33 snaps on offense and 3 snaps on specials, and the rookie wide receiver continued his steady, impressive play. He took risks bringing the ball out on kick returns, which is important in pre-season, because it gives everyone an idea if he can be the guy during the regular season.On offense, he was the third wide receiver in the Cards three wide receiver sets, and had some moments.He missed a hot route with Logan Thomas, but that is expected in game one of the preseason.
Shaq Riddick: Should end up on the PUP/IR any day now.
Gerald Christian- I was surprised to see Christian only receive 17 snaps on offense, with the signing of Chris Johnson, the emergence of Ifeanyi Momah, you wonder where Christian fits into all of this.
Xavier Williams: Maybe the second best player on defense behind Gunter, Williams continues to make people turn and notice. He is a physical, upfield type of nose tackle, who looks like he is putting himself into contention to be the back-up.
Gabe Martin: An after thought to many, the undersized Martin has found a way to continually show up on the field and in the stat sheet. He flies around the field, he is extremely aggressive and he showed that on Saturday. With Sean Weatherspoon still nursing a hamstring issue, Martin will get the reps to show he can play. So far, he looks like he can.