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Kevin Minter Has Stepped up in Year Four with the Arizona Cardinals

The inside linebacker has become the force on the Arizona Cardinals defense.

NFL: New York Jets at Arizona Cardinals Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It has not been the season we expected from the Arizona Cardinals, but for Kevin Minter, he has become the player that many thought he could be coming out of LSU.

Minter was looked at as a plodding, run stopping linebacker after his first three years in Arizona where he was not productive and lacked the upside to garner him a second contract.

Then 2016 started for Kevin Minter. Minter ranking from Pro Football Focus in 2015 was... Awful. Minter had a 43.3 Pro Football Focus grade, yet through six games, he has had three great games:

New England: 81.1
Buffalo: 83.9
San Francisco: 81.8

On the season, Minter, graded at 76.3, has been the best inside linebacker graded for Arizona since Karlos Dansby, better than even Deone Bucannon last year, who graded out at 73.7 and this year he is only at 72.9.

Minter is giving the Cardinals more than we expected, but he has been exactly what they expected when they took him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

In fact, Minter has been so good, it has changed my view on his future, he needs to be a priority for the Arizona Cardinals this off season, because he is a player producing, who will not cause them to break the bank.

That is what you want from your draft picks, to see them become players that demand a second contract.