Background: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Clayton Tune (15) speaks after the Cardinals rookie minicamp in Tempe on May 12, 2023. Mingson Lau/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK.
With Cardinals’ training camp set to begin today and all draft picks now officially signed, here are the rookies and veterans at each position I am most excited to see this pre-season:
- Rookie: Clayton Tune
- Veteran: David Blough
Tune put up big numbers at Houston (11,944 yards, 104 TDs passing and 1,240 yards, 15 TDs rushing) and has a knack for hitting slot receivers. Speaking of slot receivers, David Blough reunites with fellow Boilermaker Rondale Moore and was the QB to provide Moore with his best season of football (in his college and pro career to date).
- Rookie: Emari Demercado
- Veteran: Keaontay Ingram
Demercado ran the ball superbly (17/150/1TD) at the Fiesta Bowl (State Farm Stadium) helping to lead TCU to a 51-45 win over Michigan in the FBS Semi Finals and —- Ingram, according t good friend Brett Kollmann, is made to order for Drew Petzing’s “wide zone” running game.
- Rookie: Blake Whiteheart
- Veteran: Trey McBride
Whitehaeart, at 6-4, 247, averaged 12.3 yards per catch the last two seasons at Wake Forest and scored 6 receiving TDs combined —- and McBride was starting to come on strong during the second half of last season posting 29/265/1 TD. McBride could become a go-to receiver this season.
- Rookie: Michael Wilson
- Veteran: Greg Dortch
Wilson and Dortch have nifty separation skills and if a Cardinals’ QB can hit them consistently on time and in stride, both could have outstanding seasons.
- Rookie: Paris Johnson Jr.
- Veteran: Josh Jones
I hope that Johnson and Jones are the bookend tackles for years to come.
- Rookie*: Marquis Hayes
- Veteran: Will Hernandez
Seeing as Hayes missed his entire rookie year due to injury, I aim going to count him as a rookie—- this kid is a flat-out mauler who needs to hone his techniques. So happy to see Hernandez “The Bull” back in Cardinals’ red with a chance to have his most dominant couple of years as a pro in an offensive system that suit him to a tee.
- Rookie: Jon Gaines II
- Veteran: Hjalte Froholdt
Very excited to see the training camp competition between Gaines and Froholdt. Gaines comps physically to the Lions’ All-Pro center Frank Ragnow, whom Cardinals’ assistant GM Dave Sears helped to pick in the 1st round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Froholdt has a keen knowledge of Drew Petzing’s offense. If both Gaines and Froholdt look like 2 of the best 3 interior linemen, then one could start at center and the other at guard.
- QB: Jeff Driskel
- RB: Ty’Son Williams
- TE: Chris Pierce
- WR: Davion Davis (575 yards, 4 TDs with the USFL Champion Birmingham Stallions)
- T: Jackson Barton
- G: Dennis Daley
- C: Lecitus Smith
Which rookies, veterans and sleepers at each offensive position are you most excited to see this pre-season?