After the 2016 season came and went, the Arizona Cardinals had a handful of young stars on their hands.
Markus Golden and David Johnson broke out the most in 2016, showing that the Arizona Cardinals have done a great job of bringing players along at the right pace and putting them in positions to be successful.
Some were obvious, David Johnson likely would be successful in any offense, but Markus Golden has been the perfect complimentary pass rusher, his relentless attitude and ability to keep the same effort and energy from kickoff to final whistle is amazing.
The Cardinals need that development to continue in 2017, so here are three candidates to breakout in 2017 for the Arizona Cardinals.
Robert Nkemdiche, DT - Nkemdiche needs to figure it out maybe more than any other player on the Arizona Cardinals defense.
Nkemdiche boasts an amazing combination of size, strength and athleticism, but he has always been a bit of an enigma on the field. If he is putting it together like he is capable, the Arizona Cardinals could see little if any falloff from the 2016 defense.
With the way Nkemdiche can play when engaged, the sky is the limit, although we’d all just like to see a consistent, high effort in year two.
Justin Bethel, CB - No player has a bigger chance to become a star in 2017 than Bethel. He is finally healthy and has been waiting for the opportunity to get a full offseason of playing corner under his belt.
Now, at age 27, he is not just fighting for the second corner spot, but a big payday that will take him into his 30’s.
Bethel’s biggest asset is his athleticism, but it has never been something he trusted when playing cornerback.
He seemed to turn a bit of a corner as the slot cornerback last year, now, he’ll be outside again.
Can he become the player so many have been expecting?
Evan Boehm, OL - Where Boehm plays is still an unknown, but what is known is that the Arizona Cardinals have loved everything about Boehm and his development.
Whether he keeps the center job from A.Q. Shipley or wins the right guard job outright, Boehm has a great shot at being a part of the Arizona Cardinals offensive line in 2017.
He can become one of the anchors for the Cardinals offensive line and if he breaks out in 2017, it gives the Cardinals even more of a foundation moving forward.