Stock Up: Mike Glennon
The starter for tonight’s game finished with 69 yards and a touchdown and looked like the solid backup quarterback that Arizona signed him to be in the fourth game. He took a few sacks but was in control of the offense and threw a dime of a pass for 26 yards to Trent Sherfield to get them into the redzone in the first half.
If he’s not on the roster after cuts, it’ll be stunning given his NFL experience and the need for a veteran given Sam Bradford’s health concerns.
Stock Down: Charles “Chad” Kanoff
To be fair, I was tempted to put Kanoff’s stock up because his strengths in reading the field, delivering strong accurate downfield strikes and his poise in the pocket all showed up tonight.
And I lost count of how many drops he had last night. But...he still took a bad sack for a fumble and on third down seemed to not be on the same page as his receivers and if he was going to make the final 53 he’d have had to not only be flawless but also see Mike Glennon wholly implode.
He still seems to have a future in the league, though, and I’d expect that Arizona will like him enough to try to sign him to the practice squad.
Stock Up: Zeke Turner
Turner had his coming out party tonight. He finished with 11 solo tackles, 1 sack, one tackle for loss and looked like a monster at linebacker.
Steve Keim confirmed in interview that Turner is making the same type of transition from safety to in the box linebacker and he seems to be a natural there and provides depth to a linebacker corp that sorely needs it given that they have very little depth behind their starters. He’s been a long-time thought to make the 53 for his special teams. Tonight he proved it with his defensive play.
Stock Down: Cap Capi
If Turner exploded, Cap Capi was lacking in impact tonight.
The fan favorite ended up with a few pressures and an almost sack that was nullified by a head-to-head penalty from another player but he still got pushed around in the run game and wasn’t the all-consuming force he’s seemed to have been at times. He’s got skills and maybe AZ puts him on the practice squad but the world-beater we’ve seen in the past preseasons wasn’t there tonight.
Stock Up: Jacquizz Smith
Smith received praise from GM Steve Keim as well as got an interception of Broncos QB Chad Kelly on a heads-up play...as a defensive end, no less! He might be a guy who seems to make the roster until we figure out what’s going on with Markus Golden but he’s looked good throughout camp as well.
Stock Down: Dennis Gardeck
Gardeck is an athletic freak who had a hustle play from one side of the field to another and has been a great story throughout camp. But a few missed tackles and some lacking areas and I don’t think he’s ready for the limelight just yet. If he had gotten that interception maybe I’d feel a bit differently but for now he seems set to head to the practice squad.
Stock Up: Brandon Williams
You might be like “Huh?” Well Williams returned kicks late tonight and was solid in the tackling game which means he’s probably got a spot on the roster ahead of Campbell for the special teams play.
He’s not going to be in AZ’s long-term plans at Corner and he was not the most impressive guy on the field but he fills a need and a hole on the roster behind Logan in case T.J. gets hurt without having to put a starter back there or a guy who hasn’t got some experience with that.
How long he’ll hold onto that roster spot, though, remains to be seen.
Stock Down: Chris Campbell
Campbell was basically invisible on the night outside of getting beaten for a pass and overall hasn’t made the impact that most expected him to have. He struggled a bit in tackling and probably isn’t going to make the roster now that Brandon Williams as a kick returner has happened.
But, for a team in need for CB’s he might definitely get picked up by another team or end up on a practice squad.
Stock Up: Trent Sherfield
Sherfield was solid on special teams when he played and separated to catch a dime of a pass from Mike Glennon and even got some yards after the catch.
His spot on the roster is probably the safest of Brice Butler, Greg Little and J.J. Nelson, and he proved that tonight.
Stock Down: J.J. Nelson
Greg Little caught a touchdown. Brice Butler got back and played and blocked well on Greg Little’s touchdown.
Nelson started in the game and didn’t really do anything. I wouldn’t have noticed him if not for the fact that he was listed as a starter.
It really does feel like this might be the last that we see of J.J. in a Cards uniform. We’ll see if that’s true or not soon enough.
Honorable Mention: A.J. Howard & Elijhaa Penny
Penny’s making this roster. Howard made a big push to get on it tonight even if he got burned on a touchdown to a tight end with a physical impression, including knocking a ball free that was ruled an incomplete catch instead of a turnover.
Both are gritty, physical players with versatility, especially Penny who was making it happen as a running back in addition to being a fullback tonight. They both are also solid special teams players as well so don’t be surprised if one or both make the team and the other heads back to the practice squad as both are eligible.
Dishonorable Mention: The defense as a whole
Only one turnover forced and while normally you’d call that a good thing, expectations have been a bit, uh, higher for the Cardinals over this preseason given that they have been averaging almost 1.5 turnovers a quarter before this past game.
Steve Wilks called the effort “sloppy” and the defense certainly looked like that at times.
Chad Kelly had ups and downs but still managed to connect, Paxton Lynch looked good enough to where he basically passed at will against Arizona’s 2nd string players and the Denver running backs ran over Arizona at times, especially in the second half.
To sum up:
It’s thankfully, just preseason though and after going 3-1 and not the “dreaded” 4-0, the guys who were expected to make the roster for the most part all stepped up tonight, while many who were on the bubble fell off, meaning that while there will always be tough decisions to make, at least some of them will be a little easier for Steve Keim after all.
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