The Arizona Cardinals core of players is heavily based in veterans. Carson Palmer will be 37 this year, Larry Fitzgerald will be 33 this month, and Mike Iupati and Jared Veldheer are 29. On the defensive side of the ball, Calais Campbell will be 30 this year, while Frostee Rucker is 32.
However, ESPN has released their Under 25 Rankings of NFL teams and the Arizona Cardinals, especially Steve Keim, have done an excellent job of creating a base of young talent for the Arizona Cardinals, as they have moved up 11 spot in the rankings from 19th in 2015 to eighth this year.
Here is what they had to say about the Arizona Cardinals under 25 players.
Tyrann Mathieu is the only first-team All-Pro U25 defender in the league. He's recovering from his second torn ACL, but his versatility is key to this defense. Mathieu had 31 defeats and 10 hurries in 2015. The other player pining for greatness already is running back David Johnson, who scored 13 touchdowns on limited touches as a rookie. He should take over as the workhorse in a Bruce Arians offense that favors one back.
Those two players alone get Arizona moving up the rankings, but speedy receiver J.J. Nelson, nose tackle Rodney Gunter and linebacker Kareem Martin provide good depth. Tony Jefferson can play a traditional safety role and the Cardinals have moved Deone Bucannon into that "dollar linebacker" hybrid position, where he had 23 defeats last season.
Then there are the Cardinals' last two first-round picks. D.J. Humphries, a healthy scratch in all of 2015, should get his shot at right tackle this year. Robert Nkemdiche likely fell in the draft because of off-field concerns. We view him as a backup for 2016, but Nkemdiche could eventually develop into a force when lined up next to Calais Campbell.
The Arizona Cardinals have a bevy of under 25 talent and some extremely talented 26 year olds in Michael Floyd and John Brown.
Steve Keim's job will not be done of course until he secures that quarterback of the future, but right now, the Arizona Cardinals GM has set up his team for success in the present and future.