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Three potential Arizona Cardinals defenders who could be Pro Bowlers in 2017

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A look at the defensive players who could find their way to the Pro Bowl in 2017.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, we looked at three potential Pro Bowlers for the Arizona Cardinals in 2017 on offense. One is as close to a lock as you can get, one is a guy who is on the cusp, and then one is who could be a potential surprise in 2017.

Let’s get to it.

Obvious:

Patrick Peterson - Cornerback

I almost put Chandler Jones on here, but it had me thinking...Could name recognition get Peterson to the pro-bowl? I mean, yes, Peterson did have 3 interceptions last year, but one of them was an overthrow that Peterson was athletic enough to one-hand out of bounce. What if Patrick Peterson only had 1 interception on the year, because of the lack of throws going to his side? Would the name, Patrick Peterson, get him enough considerations to get voted to the pro-bowl?

In which case I say yes. A hundred times yes. Let's be realistic, Patrick Peterson is one of the best corners in the league, and barring injury (knock on wood), Peterson is an automatic selection for the pro-bowl. He completely took Julio Jones away from the Falcons last year, and Jones was considered one of the best hands receivers. Just like David Johnson, Pat P is my lock to make the pro-bowl.

Alternatives: Chandler Jones - Sam Linebacker, Tyrann Mathieu - Nickel

Potential Breakout:

Markus Golden - Will Linebacker

If I didn't put Markus Golden here, I would have full anarchy on my hands from other Cardinals fans. To me, Golden is going to have to prove this isn't lightning in a bottle. A 12.5-sack season is all well in good if you consistently put up that kind of stat line, but this was his first season as a full-time starter.

It's admirable to think he could make the pro-bowl by simply putting up another 12.5-sack season, but I heard it from a fan on the comments section of the offensive side, name recognition is important. Golden must take a HUGE step forward, and he has all the tools to do so. He has the opposing offense focusing on Chandler Jones (who could also make the pro-bowl also), and from what everyone says about Golden, an engine that never quits. Pair that together with a very youthful defensive line, and you could have 15+ sacks from Golden.

Surprise:

Olsen Pierre - Defensive End

Some are going to realize I've used this one before, because the hype is real for me. I know that he is in a crowded defensive line room, and is currently backing up Rodney Gunter. But recent praise from Mike Iupati has me feeling very comfortable about placing Pierre in this slot. Iupati recently compared Pierre to Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks, which is some very lofty praise from a veteran who has seen Bennett twice a year since 2013.

Lofty comparisons could make Pierre a premier pass-rusher in this league, and for Olsen Pierre to make the pro-bowl, he might be able to get double digit sacks and his spot would be secure. In my opinion, Robert Nkemdiche, Josh Mauro, Rodney Gunter, and Corey Peters could be "that guy", but Pierre is so new and raw to the spotlight that many teams might not even see him coming. We will see.