Week three of the preseason is the most regular season game like, per most NFL people. For the Arizona Cardinals sake, we hope not. Although the Cardinals won their first game of the season, (All hail Logan Thomas!) the first team offense looked not regular season ready, and that is the image we as Cardinals fans will have in our head until game one on September 13th rolls around. While the game was a bit disastrous, we did get to see some work from the 2015 draft class and they were not bad.
Here's what I saw in game three of the preseason:
First of all, Humphries is a complete project, from the ground up. He is Logan Thomas on the offensive line, and people like me took too much from his "good" college tape and did not worry enough about the bad. He's completely out of sorts when it comes to technique, footwork, punch, hand placement, etc., and he has a way to go before he is ready. He's got some raw strength/athleticism, but he has no idea how to use it, and in that we probably should not see him in 2015.
Second of all, wow bad is Humphries that he cannot beat out Bradley Sowell?
When you look at what Humphries did on Sunday, it is kind of a microcosm of what I am talking about. He had some good plays where he dropped his ass, anchored and hit the pass rusher in the chest and they were done. Then there were times when smaller men treated him like a rag doll. If he's getting pushed around by Khalil Mack, that is one thing. But Mario Edwards Jr., the Raiders second round pick, should not being making Humphries look like a priority free agent.
His ups and downs show the chasm between where he is and where he can be, and the question is where does he end up and how soon? With the way Earl Watford is playing, it may be 2017 before we need to start talking about Humphries and playing time. Maybe that is okay.
There's a concern with Golden that I have had from the beginning since I watched him as Missouri, about what translates to the NFL. His motor, determination and solid strength are all there, but he has to work really hard to get to every play he is in it seems. He's a player that you root for, but there has to be some flash there too. He'll get a chance, but his snaps have gone down each week of the preseason, so maybe it will not be in year one.
He's good, but he has to run with some authority, especially if he wants to be the every down back in the offense. He'll be a good weapon, but I think we are all still waiting for the consistency when carrying the ball.
Remember when people were asking about defensive rookie of the years in Cardinals history? Then Gunter was named the starter and people really thought that was what was going to happen. Well, he's playing nose tackle, he's played 12 snaps the last two games, and he's done really well, but no one could tell me about it. He's going to be a good player in the NFL, for a long time, but is he going to be Calais Campbell? Not this year, but if he continues to play well at the nose position, he'll be indispensable.
Hey, he played. He didn't look bad either. He just looked like a guy who hasn't played outside linebacker before, who has so much athleticism that he is not sure how to use it, and who needs time. He's a fifth round pick, so if he develops over the next year or two and can be a contributor in year three, that's a win. For now, just enjoy the process and the progress.
This will be the first time we have talked about Nelson and it will be mostly negative. There is the obvious communication issue between Nelson and Palmer right now, but he's only had about two months to work with the veteran, and the site adjustments on his routes that's going to take time.
Undrafted Free Agents
Xavier Williams: Stay healthy big man, you have a spot on the roster.
Alani Fua and Gabe Martin: These two are making it hard on the Cardinals brass to make a decision, and that is all you can ask from them. Fua offers more versatility, but to me, Martin looks like a guy who is more a contributor early. Either way the Cardinals go, they should have a good player.