One week into the "season" for the Arizona Cardinals and it is already time to a broad look at what the recent draft classes are doing and how they are doing.
2013 Draft Class
Jonathan Cooper: Starting a RG and again turning heads with his athleticism, Cooper has done a good enough job to not catch the ire of any coaches or fans at this point. Maybe it is finally time for everything to fall into place for uber talented guard.
Kevin Minter: Whether or not Minter was planned on taking on the starting inside linebacker role in 2015, there is little question at this time that he is the man in the middle. Minter is calling the defense with newly acquired Sean Weatherspoon on the mend already, and he has looked the part. It is a big year for Minter and so far, so good.
Tyrann Mathieu: Few have turned as many heads in 2015 as Mathieu, health is really the only thing that seems to be standing in the way of Mathieu and superstardom.
Alex Okafor: While Mathieu may be the best player of Steve Keim and companies first draft class, no player will have as much on their plate in 2015 as Okafor, and as of now he has delivered. Playing as the only clear starter at the OLB position, he'll be the primary pass rusher in 2015, and he looks poised to breakout... so far.
Earl Watford: While Watford has been mentioned as a roving back and tight end, he still is the key back up to the Cardinals offensive line, and with injuries already taking their toll, Watford's continued progress is important, even if it is not as a starter.
Stepfan Taylor: The Steady Eddie of the 2013 class, Taylor is still in a battle for playing time, but it is clear every time he steps onto the field he will make the correct read and more importantly, pick up the correct block. I'd be shocked if he is not on the team in 2015.
Andre Ellington: Already feeling the effects of some leg issues, the hope for Ellington will be to make it out of camp health and 100 percent. Maybe there is a reason he is most effective as a bit player, and not as a feature back.
2014 Draft Class
Deone Bucannon: The strong safety has been getting some more time in the defensive backfield, but he is still being used heavily near the line of scrimmage at his dollar linebacker position. How much he progresses in the back end and in coverage will be key to Bucannon's development in 2015.
Troy Niklas: He knows the sidelines of University of Phoenix Stadium well.
Kareem Martin: Martin is running a lot with the 2's and 3's, meaning he is getting the chance to fail at OLB. He's been one of the more impressive players at camp based on several conversations I have had with onlookers, so getting him on the field in preseason is exciting.
John Brown: Slowly becoming the best receiver on the Arizona Cardinals roster. May be there by the end of the 2015 season.
Logan Thomas: QB3, maybe. Most people I have spoken with say he's had higher highs than Phillip Sims and Chandler Harnish, but his lows are, well, Logan Thomas low.
Ed Stinson: From impact rookie in 2014 to possible roster casualty in 2015, that's what happens in the NFL. He's running third string and with the investments they've made on the line, he has a long battle in front of him.
2015 Draft Class
DJ Humphries: Injured, but before was running with the second team offensive line at right tackle. Looks like he'll have a long climb to beat out Bobby Massie in 2015, but health and progression will be paramount in 2015.
Markus Golden: Splitting time at OLB with the second team and Lamar Woodley and Lorenzo Alexander, people I trust have told me he looks better than both veterans so far in camp. He's taken advantage of playing against inferior talent on the second and third offensive lines, but he's beating the people he is expected too.
David Johnson: Injured...Please get healthy.
Rodney Gunter: Clearly a work in progress, has shown the raw talent that made him a fourth round pick, but there is a way to go.
Shaq Riddick: Needs to get on the field, but likely IR candidate for 2015.
JJ Nelson: As small as he is, he has played extremely well and even emerged as a legit receiving threat.Has a different gear than everyone else and it shows with the ball in his hands.
Gerald Christian: Has a battle to make the roster ahead of him, but hasn't look bad. Just has work to do with Fells, Gresham and Niklas "locks" to make the roster.
Undrafted Free Agent to Watch
Xavier Williams has been the standout UDFA in 2015 camp, which is not surprising. The Northern Iowa product is going to make Alameda Ta'amu expendable with his play thus far.