With the Arizona Cardinals in a bit of turnover on their roster ranks, it was not quite unexpected that they wouldn’t be looked at too highly in the ESPN Under-25 power rankings.
However, when the ranking itself came in it was near the bottom of the NFL.
From the ESPN In$ider article:
28. Arizona Cardinals
Leading the way are the team’s young defenders in linebacker Haason Reddick and safety Budda Baker. The latter actually earned first-team All-Pro status for his work on special teams last season, but his role in 2018 could be streamlined to focus more on safety, where he ranked 68th in adjusted success rate in coverage.
Left tackle D.J. Humphries has played only 18 of a possible 48 games in his career, but he has at least solidified his starting job on the team. He just needs to stay healthy. Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche has not lived up to the hype in his first two seasons. He is not guaranteed a starting role and is still looking for his first NFL sack.
It is a fair bit. They also mention Ricky Seals-Jones, as well as the rookies, but the reality is, the Arizona Cardinals only have one player in Budda Baker who is under-25 who has shown anywhere near superstar level play.
Obviously you can’t discredit Reddick yet, Humphries and Nkemdiche on the other hand have not been what they were drafted to be, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that pundits are so down on the team.
If you are wondering why not give the team a boost for the drafting of Josh Rosen, they covered that as well:
Arizona is a hard team to rank since quarterback Josh Rosen would typically give the team a big boost, but Sam Bradford is expected to start in Week 1. Of course, Bradford seasons rarely last long, so we may see Rosen this year under center, but the projection was based on him being a backup as a rookie.
Again, it is a fair assessment of the situation.
Rosen starting and playing well will only boost this ranking for the Arizona Cardinals.
The teams below the Cardinals.