The NFL preseason might be the best reality show alive.
Players have their stock rise and fall like the NFL draft but there’s actual games being played with nearly half the players fighting for their spot on the pro roster in any given year.
So who rose to the challenge and who’s stock took a tumble last night? Let’s find out:
Stock Up: QB Josh Rosen
You knew this one was coming.
Josh Rosen to Christian Kirk for the touchdown. Excellent placement and velocity. pic.twitter.com/ScEAvko2A0— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) August 18, 2018
Soon as Josh Rosen got an Offensive line he looked quite impressive, demonstrating quality touch, placement and decision-making and looked like a future star out on the field, finishing 10 of 16 for 102 yards, 1 TD and a quarterback rating over 100.
He might not have seen a huge change in terms of performance, as it’s more those around him improved, but he got a big confidence boost and showed that he might be ready to handle a starting role this season.
Stock Down: DL Robert Nkemdiche
Oh Robert...another lower leg injury held him out of the game, making at least three years in a row that he has had a sort of injury.
Post-game, Head Coach Steve Wilks said it wasn’t anything to be concerned about, but the fact that Olsen Pierre got a sack while Nkemdiche was on the sideline might indicate that if Robert can’t put it together, his grasp on his starting position might be more tenuous if he can’t stay on the field.
Stock Up: The young receivers—Christian Kirk & Chad Williams
Steve Wilks talked about wanting guys to step up and separate themselves for the #2 wide receiver position. Well Kirk and Williams did just that, with Kirk getting open and catching a tough touchdown pass from Josh Rosen while Williams hauled in everything and gave a tough stiff arm to a defender.
If they keep making plays like that, Arizona will have a lot of weapons rather than seeing their offense struggle, and it gives confidence to fans that the position might not be bare outside of Larry Fitzgerald.
Stock Down: RT Andre Smith
Smith had a rough night. He was beaten at least 2-3 times in the passing game and also the same in the run game. He blew an assignment in blocking and also was beaten once so soundly off the line that Josh Rosen narrowly avoided taking a sack for a loss.
Smith’s a veteran but he’s not performing up to par with the rest of the offensive line. And with a veteran like John Wetzel and a young athletic freak like Korey Cunningham behind him, he has to show that he can be counted on or else the team might not hesitate to move on.
Stock Up: C Evan Boehm
Boehm was consisten, if unspectacular, in his snaps from center and protection for Josh Rosen. With A.Q. Shipley out for the year, this might open the door for him to make the roster, and he was much better than his predecessor the week before in Daniel Munyer. No snaps off of the ground this week!
Stock Down: OG Josh Allen
Not the Bills’ Josh Allen, no. Last week Josh Allen was the lone bright spot of the 2nd team Cardinals’ offensive line. This week? He had a penalty and got beaten a few times off the line and didn’t make a lot of move in the run game.
Guys have only so much time to impress, and a setback like this is unfortunate for his chances of making the roster.
Stock Up: CB Bene Benewikere
All this man seems to do is force turnovers. Another interception where he ran the route of the wide receiver better than former Cardinal Ted Ginn Jr. and Benewikere’s probably got the CB3 position on lock this year. He had a terrible injury in years past so his recovery and ability to step up has been huge for the team.
Stock Down: RB T.J. Logan
Logan was at one point likely in line to be the backup running back behind David Johnson in 2017 and had looked electric on kick off returns.
He’s hardly noticable on the returns or in the games and has fallen to RB4 behind ASU alumni D.J. Foster on the depth chart.
Logan is likely making the roster this year but every time Christian Kirk touches the football, he’s so electric you have to wonder if he might not be better served on kickoff duty as a rookie...
Stock Up: LB Gerald Hodges
The Cardinals have a linebacker depth problem. Hodges came in off the street and looked better than almost any of the depth players that Arizona had on the second level, crazily enough. He showed he could hit and even cover a bit, and his role should expand some before playing the Cowboys on national television next week.
Stock Down: WR Greg Little
Little’s story has been great, and he’s even put in work on special teams (including a bit out of bounds hit on a return yesterday) but there’s a problem.
At 29 years old, with Christian Kirk and Chad Williams stepping up, his spot on the roster is very much on the bubble given in that he’d have to outshine both in order to make it. He’s been a bit more consistent than either in camp thus far but he’d have to be going out and claiming that WR2 spot to ensure that a second chance case like him could make it.
Instead, Kirk and Williams closed the gap on him considerably.
Cards fans, whose stock did you have rising or falling?
Sound off in the comments section!
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