WFinal cutdown day is approaching, and all I can think about these days is the lack of development the Cardinals have seen from the rookies. It's not like this is a new story, it's actually quite old.
Last year the Cardinals cut Marqui Christian and Harlan Miller during the final cuts. This isn't a big problem, this is typically a very talented roster, and making the roster typically takes a lot of work and mental preparation.
Cardinal rookies typically must eat, breath, sleep football, using most of their free time learning the playbook.
We already know that typically Card rookies have a hard time playing in full-time roles. When you depend on rookies, mistakes are typically going to come in fast and furious, and you could tell that was happening during the preseason this year.
Chad Williams, Dorian Johnson, Johnathan Ford, and to a lesser extent, Will Holden have struggled enough to wonder if they might be cut free.
These four haven't put up great game tape, and they struggled mightily against second and third stringers. What happens if all four are cut, you are just left with Haason Reddick and Budda Baker, and your class starts to look empty.
Johnathan Ford has been outplayed by undrafted rookie Ironhead Gallon, while Chad Williams has looked lost on a few routes, has fumbled the ball, and drops are continous. He might have already given his job away to vets like Jeremy Ross and Aaron Dobson, while undrafted rookie Krishawn Hogan seems better versed at special teams.
Do you attempt to salvage these picks instead of cutting them by trading? At the most, you could probably exchange a rookie for a rookie from another team, but that rookie from another team must have struggled also, which is a gamble.
Don't get me wrong, I think the Cardinals need to keep Chad Williams, he needs to 'season' a little bit, but urgency needs to be instilled. Out of the two rookie offensive lineman, I've been far more blown away by the lack of discipline from Dorian Johnson, who seems to get turned around on stunts, and typically doesn't trust his footwork enough. Sack after sack.
Will Holden seems to have an edge (not much), but that could be attributed to him playing in the SEC. Plus, his ability to switch inside and outside makes him a perfect stand-in if injuries start to mount up (last case scenario), instead of putting out a slow-footed Dorian Johnson.
All in all, I wouldn't be surprised if any of these rookies were cut, and I wouldn't be surprised if they all made it. It's obvious that the Cards drafted more physically gifted players who needed to develop NFL-type progression.
I know this cut down day is going to be tough on both Bruce Arians and Steve Keim. We'll see.