While the Summer begins to ramp up it’s 100-degree weather, the Arizona Cardinals will begin rookie minicamp May 11th, I’m ready to put the spotlight on some guys that I think could surprise some people when they make the roster.
1. Cobi Hamilton - Wide Receiver
Arkansas - 4 Year Pro
6’2’’, 201 Pounds
Who is destined to be the number-2 receiver? Brice Butler? Chad Williams? Newly-drafted Christian Kirk? Well, with the lack of movement (except for Butler), it makes me think that the Cardinals may think highly of someone in-house. Logically, it’s probably Chad Williams being who everyone wanted him to be last year, but I want a dark horse.
Enter Cobi Hamilton, a young 27-year-old receiver who has some game experience and was a surprise waiver-wire claim from the Browns. Hamilton, an All-SEC selection during his senior year while collecting 1,335 yards and 5 touchdowns, is coming into an ideal situation for the Cardinals.
Catching precise passes from a deadly-pinpoint QB like Sam Bradford or a prize QB with unbelievable attributes on the field Josh Rosen could give Hamilton stability. He’s natural hands-catcher and seems fluent in route-concepts. Good pickup for the Cardinals.
2. Lou Young III - Cornerback
Georgia Tech - 3 Year Pro
6’0’’, 205 Pounds
My overall thoughts on the draft was that they went offense heavy because they needed to rejuvenate the passing game, but the defense only received love once.
Who should be opposite Patrick Peterson? Some are saying it’s going to be a veteran free agent, some think Brandon Williams will take that next step, and others expect the veteran combo of either/or Bene Benwikere or Marcus Williams. I’m throwing Lou Young’s name into the ring, saying that maybe this is the year Lou Young could be a stalwart for Wilks.
During Young’s time in Carolina, he really endured the typical bottom-end problems. Some Stability would give Lou Young the chance to compete for something a little bit more than a reserve role. I love his tenacity, and why not have another starter wearing number 32.
3. Bryson Albright - Defensive End
Miami (Ohio) - 2 Year Pro
6’5’’, 245 Pounds
It’s time to get the Cardinals a backup for Chandler Jones, Benson Mayowa and the rehabbing Markus Golden (who also happens to be in a contract year), and a cheaper resolution would be Bryson Albright over what’s out there now. Albright comes from Miami of Ohio, where he had 19.5 sacks through a 4-year career. He had some tools coming out in 2016.
Albright comes in having a chance to learn the system, and to possibly become someone who can get rotational minutes. Don’t be fooled, Albright is able to sink his hips to break beyond the pocket, but does he have strength to maneuver from strong-handed offensive tackles?
If someone were to step up while an injured Markus Golden is still rehabbing his knee, would I be disappointed? Nope. Let’s have as many edge rushers as possible, and hope that we don’t have to break the bank to get Golden back. Maybe have a contingency plan in case he does leave, since Mayowa is on a one-year deal.
4. Matthew McCrane - Kicker
Kansas State - Rookie
5’10’’, 165 Pounds
Let me go on record, Matt McCrane has a LOT to prove if he wants to overtake the wily Phil Dawson, who’s 20 years his senior. If you really thinking of replacing an 80% field goal kicker with another 80% college kicker, I think it’s duck season you quacky duck. Now, if the argument is to save some scratch, sure, $2.5M plus $500K for a roster bonus is just terrible value for a sub-80% kicker.
Matt McCrane is going to compete, and I hope he improves his weakest aspect, long-kick accuracy. If McCrane were able to correct that, he could be a steal as an undrafted free agent (especially after 6 specialist, 2 kickers were chosen before him). I think that Dawson, one way or another must compete for his work this year, and let’s hope the competition is a good one.
Accuracy from short-to-mid is very stout for McCrane, as he is 14-of-15 (93%) from within 40 yards. Even 4-of-5 (80%, but a good 80) from 40-49 yards, but 3-of-6 (50%) from farther than 50 yards. Improve your long-ball accuracy, and you’ll get yourself a solid kicker for cheap.
5. Alek Torgersen - Quarterback
Penn - 1 Year Pro
6’2’’, 229 Pounds
But why do I have a quarterback when the Cardinals just drafted a quarterback? Seriously, it’s not about Braford in my opinion, it’s about the $3.5M for a 3rd string QB. Mike Glennon is getting another short-end of a stick with the recent drafting of Josh Rosen, and Sam Bradford is firmly entrusted into the current starting lineup.
You know who’s a cheaper solution than Mike Glennon? The waiver-claim of Alek Torgersen, who by some, has impressed the Cardinals coaching staff thus far. I loved him last draft season and thought we could take him in the sixth last year. Instead, I believe that he could step up and snatch a job.
That’s all folks, I hope you enjoyed the read. Let’s hope one of these guys pan out. Or maybe it’s just dust in the wind. Go Cardinals.