Another week in and this time we have a lot to talk about, some of it good, some of it...well, we'll get to that.
After two preseason games, there is a grouping at the top for the Cardinals of "best pick" thus far, and even though everyone is fawning over the new running game, I think one player in particular continues to be the "steal of the draft," at least in the preseason.
How did the 2015 Arizona Cardinals draft class fair in game two of the preseason? Let's take a look.
DJ Humphries: Demoted...already...kind of. Humphries was brought in to back up and eventually take over the right tackle position from incumbent and now suspended Bobby Massie. Once the workouts started, well that's when trouble started. An injury and some poor play meant that Humphries is now being moved from a battle for the starting RT position, to a pure backup at left tackle. While the reps at left tackle are massively important for the future, that future looks further away than it did a week ago.
As for the game, Humphries showed his issues early and often, and this time there was not a plethora of run blocking plays to shine on. He struggled in both the running game and pass protection, and his pass protection issues mean he has no chance to earn a spot on the field early. He was raw coming out of Florida, but his first two games have been disappointing.
Markus Golden: Golden is interesting because he has not really been the pass rushing terror that he was billed to be, but he's been another good, productive and heady run defender. He's strong at the point of attack and physical. He was also the 19th ranked rookie out of 31 in pass rushing productivity per Pro Football Focus at the 3-4 outside linebacker position. Arizona has plenty of run stopping OLB. They need someone who can rush the passer. Golden will continue to get chances, now he needs to start producing.
David Johnson: After a week one DNP injury, Johnson came out and shined. He showed a good blend of speed, vision and power, while keeping his rookie mistakes to a minimum. While many have gushed about Johnson's first outing, and rightfully so, he needs to get comfortable running to and through contact.It will come, he was excellent in his first live action, and now the dance of the running backs continues.
Rodney Gunter: He played, I dare you to find it. Five plays, good first look. Nothing to write home about or worry about.
J.J. Nelson: My favorite rookie thus far, Nelson has found a way to make his speed work so far, and despite some miscommunication on a smoke screen, he did a good job in both the passing game and the return game.
Shaq Riddick: He is finally practicing! Yay!
Gerald Christian: Um, cut soon? No snaps in preseason game two.
Xavier Williams: It Looks like Williams has locked in a job with the Cardinals. The question is will it be as the back up nose tackle or third string. As for the game, Williams was strong against the run again, he looks like a guy who can be more than a run stuffer, but for now, he should be a force against the run.
Phillip Sims: After an up and down week one, Sims looked calm and cool in week two. He's an interesting prospect, but the calls for him to be the new QBoTF is even more intriguing. Sims is running the offense in a different way than Palmer, Stanton and Thomas, and that allows for him to be quicker with his decisions and move within a different flow of the his offense. I've maintained that Sims is the perfect type of practice squad candidate and his play in game two doesn't change that.
Alani Fua; A good showing in game two for Fua puts him ahead of Gabe Martin, slightly. Fua is a long, versatile and athletic linebacker who can cover and looks good blitzing. That means he could be a better fit than Martin, who is a little more similar to Kevin Minter.