Yesterday we took a look through Darren Urban's starting offensive unit for the Arizona Cardinals. There was little intrigue with the names, but he had some interesting commentary.
Today, it's time for the defense, take a look at what Darren had to say, his insight is priceless, but here are five things that caught my eye.
NT – Corey Peters. The Cards like Rodney Gunter, who was solid as a rookie. But Peters was impressing coaches before his Achilles injury last season, and I expect him to make a similar push to get back into the starting lineup by the time the season starts. Other than Campbell, the defensive line starter positions are a) up for grabs and b) part of a rotation, anyway. One caveat: This is assuming Peters is indeed all the way healthy, but coach Bruce Arians said Peters would be ready to go come camp.
DT – Frostee Rucker. Rucker missed offseason work with a foot injury, and he may not be ready right when camp opens. But assuming he doesn’t miss too much time, he figures to find his way into the lineup again. He’s been solid the last couple of seasons, and while there is youth available (Gunter, Nkemdiche, Stinson) Rucker still leads the way.
Right off the bat, you get the idea that veteran understanding of the defense will win out over the athletic upside. Both Gunter and Nkemdiche will see plenty of snaps, but it may not be as a "starter".
OLB – Markus Golden. When it comes to outside linebackers, Jones is the star, Alex Okafor is the former starter on the comeback trail after his dicey exit to 2015, and Dwight Freeney is the still-available free agent. Meanwhile, Golden, who was solid as a rookie, will slide into the starting spot opposite Jones. He’ll have the chance to be a nice bookend.
Okafor and Freeney? Interesting to see Freeney mentioned as a possible starter, I feel like anything other than Golden here is an upset.
FS – Tyrann Mathieu.
SS – Tony Jefferson.
Obviously health is key at NT and FS so those positions are taken with a grain of salt, but to see no Tyvon Branch here is really different. I think it speaks to Jefferson and how much he does well, even if he isn't always the best athlete. Branch will play plenty, and maybe Swearinger, but the overall idea is really nice to see.
What caught your attention?