clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Are the Cardinals’ intriguing names in the secondary good enough?

New, comments
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals already have their starting secondary in place with Patrick Peterson, Robert Alford, D.J. Swearinger, and Budda Baker.

That’s already a solid starting lineup right there.

In free agency, they signed Josh Shaw from the Buccaneers and Tramaine Brock from the Broncos.

For Shaw, he’s young (27) and is a big defensive back (6-1 200lbs) that has been a solid special teams player. As a defensive back, he has struggled to recapture his 2016 form when he made 56 tackles and an interception. But he has experience playing both cornerback and safety positions. His role on the team is still unknown but he’ll likely have to battle for a 53-man roster spot. He is a major upgrade over Brandon Williams, Cardinals’ 2016 third-round pick that has struggled since entering the NFL.

Brock (30) will enter his 10th season in the NFL and had the most success when he played for the 49ers. In his career, he has made 212 tackles, 11 interceptions, 50 passes defensed, and two forced fumbles. He played for Vance Joseph and the Broncos last season but wasn’t very effective. He deflected six passes last season but was given a 59.5 Pro Football Focus grade. Despite his extensive experience, he’ll compete for a roster spot with a chance to revive his NFL career.

David Amerson is a 27-year-old cornerback that the Cardinals added late in the 2018 season. The former second-round pick has made 272 tackles, nine interceptions, 65 passes defensed, and two forced fumbles over the course of his seven-year career. Since having an incredible 2015 season with four interceptions and 25 pass deflections with the Raiders, his performance has been rather underwhelming. He’ll be competing for a roster spot as well.

The Cardinals remain intrigued with 2018 undrafted free agent Deatrick Nichols. Brandon Williams have been given many chances to prove himself as a cornerback and special teams player. He’s been the weakest link in their secondary and special teams for a while now but Keim’s continued faith in him has hurt the Cardinals a lot more than he realizes. The other cornerbacks on the roster include Chris Jones and Jonathan Moxey.

The Cardinals are in need of a slot cornerback and one of the names above could be the answer to that vacancy. But all these players have been trending downwards in their NFL careers. They could try to add more players in the mix through the draft. Players like DeAndre Baker or Chauncey Gardner-Johnson could be targets in day two of the draft.

After Swearinger and Baker, there is a lack of depth at the safety position. Rudy Ford, Cardinals’ 2017 sixth-round pick, is primarily a special teams player. Jonathan Owens is a practice squad player with no experience playing in the regular season. The Cardinals have already expressed interest in some of the top draft-eligible safety prospects in Mississippi State’s Johnathan Abrams and Maryland’s Darnell Savage. The team loves to use three safety packages and we’ll see one added in either the draft or free agency. I wouldn’t rule out the return of Tre Boston . Free agent Darian Stewart could be a target for the Cardinals, having played for Joseph the past two seasons.

Eric Berry shouldn’t have a very expensive price tag due to his numerous injuries in recent years. But his familiarity playing in a 3-4 defense and wanting a fresh start would make him a good fit for the Cardinals.

Are the Cardinals finished added players to their secondary? Or could we see another addition or two via the draft and free agency?

Tell us your thoughts!