Player capsule: T.J. Logan

The Arizona Cardinals used their fifth round draft choice on North Carolina product T.J. Logan, an elusive running back who should provide immediate help as a kick returner.

Player capsules

As the Arizona Cardinals begin their quest to cut the team's roster size from 90 to 53 by the end of the preseason, we're taking a look at every player at each position group and determining their odds of making the final cut.

Player: T.J. Logan

Position: Running back

Age: 22

Experience: Rookie

Contract status: 2017-$515,484, 2018-$605,484, 2019-$695,484, 2020-$785,485

2016 season quick review: The 2016 season was Logan's fourth and final campaign at North Carolina, where he served the Tar Heels in a scat-back type of a role. Playing alongside the second overall draft pick, quarterback Mitch Trubisky, Logan set a career-high with 120 carries for 650 yards and seven touchdowns. Logan was also productive as a receiver, racking up 29 catches for 244 yards and three touchdowns. However, Logan's impact was perhaps felt most on special teams, as he enjoyed the second season of his college career with multiple kick returns for touchdowns. The elusive Logan averaged 32.9 yards per kick return, which helped him secure a spot on the radar of NFL teams looking for special teams help everywhere.

Projected roster status: Even though the Cardinals have demonstrated they're willing to cut draft picks if they aren't up to par, Logan's roster spot should be safe this season because the team has an obvious need for help on special teams and Logan can provide Arizona with fireworks as a kick returner. Additionally, because Arizona lacks proven, quality depth behind starter David Johnson in the backfield, Logan should find a role contributing on the offensive side of the ball early in his career.

Projected depth chart status: Cardinals' head coach Bruce Arians is often reluctant to play rookies early in their careers, and there's no better example of that than Arians holding back Johnson throughout the first half of his rookie season in 2015. Because it's highly unlikely Logan will be able to assimilate as well as Johnson did, Logan will probably find himself in the third or fourth spot on the Cardinals' depth chart, and receive limited opportunities during the first few months of the season.

CardinalsSource.com analysis: There aren't many teams Logan could have gone to in the NFL that would have been a better schematic and stylistic fit than the Arizona Cardinals, an organization that prioritizes speed and is seemingly doing everything in its power to put as many skill position players who run sub 4.4 40-yard dash times on the field at once. Logan will make Arizona better as a rookie, because regardless of how he contributes on the offensive side of the ball, there will be ample opportunities for him to impact the game as a special teams contributor, an area where the Cardinals were dismal in 2016. On offense, though, Logan could see early playing time if the Cardinals are convinced they can use his speed as an asset when Johnson needs a breather. Perhaps Logan finds himself in the third or fourth spot on the depth chart, or perhaps the Cardinals use him as Johnson's primary backup, but Arians will come to know which types of plays are best for Logan and he'll likely attempt to put him in advantageous situations as much as possible. Logan isn't going to be the Cardinals' third and short back, but he can help the team in early down situations, and especially when Arizona wants to run the ball out of shotgun sets. 

Overall value: As a draft pick, the onus is on Logan to contribute and make the most of his opportunities during the first four seasons of his career. Even though the Cardinals didn't select Logan until the fifth round, the franchise has a strong track record of selecting valuable contributors in the middle rounds and capitalizing on late draft picks can help take a team to the next level. The faster a draft choice begins to make an impact, the more value that draft pick offers to the franchise because players come at a fraction of the cost when they sign their rookie contracts. 


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