• Arizona Cardinals IDP Winners and Losers

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    In the first of my Team IDP Winners and Losers series, I will look at the Arizona Cardinals. Which veterans dodged a bullet and which took a blow to their future on their current team.

    Arizona Cardinals - IDP Winners and Losers

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    The Winners

    LB - Isaiah Simmons, Kyzir White, and Zaven Collins

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    The Arizona Cardinals had several Team IDP Winners and Losers. Among the winners would be Isaiah Simmons, who is starting his fourth year with the Cardinals after being selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

    His overall performance has had its ups and downs over his first three years. Last year, Simmons started out rough with just 20-30% of the defensive snaps in half of his first four games. He finished with playing roughly 90-100% of the defensive snaps in his final five games.

    Simmons recorded 39 tackles (40% of his year's total) in those five games. The one concerning item with Simmons would be the Cardinals' decision not to exercise his fifth-year option.

    Kyzir White is a new addition to the Cardinals LB room. White was initially drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft. After playing four years with the Chargers, he signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

    White played roughly 75-85% of the defensive snaps on a weekly basis and delivered 110 tackles. He should have significant snaps with his new team.

    Zaven Collins is the final IDP Winner out of the LBs. Collins played in 95% or more of the defensive snaps in 15 games last year. He tallied 100 tackles in those games. Rumors are flying that he will be moving to the edge. This makes sense with his size of 6'4" and 260lbs and the athleticism he shows at that size. If the move does indeed happen, he will be a wrecking ball.

    The Cardinals only added LB - Owen Pappoe at the end of the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

    Defensive Backs - Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson

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    Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson are arguably the best Safety tandem in the league.

    Baker will enter his seventh season after being selected in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft. In 15 games, he delivered a solid 111 tackles (75 solo), 1 tackle for a loss, 2 QB hits, 7 passes defended, 2 interceptions, and a forced fumble. However, Baker does not seem happy with the Cardinals and has requested a trade. I do not believe the Cardinals will grant his wish. Things will get patched up, and the dynamic Safety duo will live to fight another season.

    On the other hand, Thompson is an undrafted college-free agent entering his fifth year in the league. He has been uber-productive and, in the last 2 years, has produced 231 tackles (158 solo), 4 tackles for a loss, 3 QB hits, 15 passes defended, 4 interceptions, and a fumble recovery. It was very obvious that the Cardinals did not need to look in the defensive backroom when selecting their 2023 rookie draft picks.

    The Losers

    DE - Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders

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    Cameron Thomas was a third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. His rookie year was a learning year. He only had two games where he played more than 33% of the defensive snaps. Because of the low snaps, he only delivered 18 tackles (7 solo), 3 tackles for a loss, 6 QB hits, 3 sacks, and 1 pass defended. Not the production you look for from a third-round pick.

    Myjai Sanders was also a third-round pick last year. As a rookie, he reached 42% or more of the defensive snaps in five of the final six games. In those 6 games, Sanders produced 13 tackles (9 solo), 1 tackle for a loss, 2 QB hits, 1 sack, and 1 fumble recovery. Again, nothing to excite you for the future of the Cardinals' defensive line.

    The Cardinals had to address their DE/Edge again in 23'

    Being disappointed in these results from their two third-round draft picks of 22', the Cardinals figured they must keep addressing the DE/Edge position. The first rumor will get Zaven Collins down on the Edge position. He would be an immediate starter with the majority of snaps handed to him.

    The second blow to the third-rounders from last year is the early second-round pick from this year. BJ Ojulari played for three years for the LSU Tigers. His final two years were significant in his impact. In those two years, he played 23 games and produced 112 tackles (65 solo), 20.5 tackles for a loss, 12.5 sacks, 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery.

    Thank you for checking out my 23′ Team IDP Winners and Losers article! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @OldMan_FF and @IDPGuys (we have offense, too), and please consider becoming a subscriber!

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