The Arizona Cardinals need someone to step up and be a an edge rusher opposite of Markus Golden... Who is also a free agent after this season.
So, they really need two players to show up and play well if they are going to have a young pass rusher, as Golden is already 31.
PFF talked about each team that has a rookie to watch and picked Cameron Thomas for the Arizona Cardinals.
ARIZONA CARDINALS: EDGE CAMERON THOMAS
Thomas dominated in his senior season for the Aztecs from start to finish. He led the 2022 NFL Draft class with 77 pressures, including 12 sacks and 21 hits. He’s a bigger defensive end at 6-foot-4, 267 pounds with outside-inside versatility as a rusher. Thomas ranked 78th on the PFF draft board and fell to the third round after an injury sidelined him for the entire pre-draft process.
The interesting thing is, Thomas is needed to step up and be good, but from what we have seen and heard, Myjai Sanders has been the better rookie edge rusher thus far.
That should not be a surprise, Sanders was used similarly to how the Cardinals are using him, while Thomas was in a different style defense at San Diego State.
We will see, but the reasoning to watch Thomas is sound:
Chandler Jones ain’t walking through that door. J.J. Watt is 33 years old and coming off yet another serious injury, this time to his shoulder. The Cardinals have a serious need for someone who can get after opposing passers. Thomas’ move set at San Diego State was very similar to what Watt employs at the NFL level, which means he’s getting an opportunity to learn from the best. It’s difficult for a rookie edge rusher to make an impact, but it would be a massive win for the Cardinals’ defense if Thomas can do so.
What do you think?