Breaking Down the Cards' Rookie Free Agents

While most of the attention has been focused on the Arizona Cardinals' draft selections, acquiring talented undrafted free agents is almost nearly as important. The Cardinals have done well in recent years bringing in players who weren't drafted and this year looks to be no different. Brad Wilbricht predicts which rookie free agents can make the biggest impact in Arizona.

With this year's first minicamp now complete and OTA's quickly on the horizon, the Arizona Cardinals' undrafted free agents are jockeying for position. The Cardinals have the luxury of a stable roster but there are still a few spots to fill. This year's group of undrafted free agents may be able to find their niche in the coming months.

Khalil El-Amin and Brandon Pierce may have the best shot at making the team being that the Cardinals' offensive line is still a work in progress. Furthermore, offensive line coach Russ Grim is excellent at developing young lineman and maximizing their talents on the field. El-Amin brings additional value thanks to his ability to play both guard and tackle. Meanwhile, Pierce was a consistent tackle in the college ranks and if he's able to duplicate that in NFL, he may find a home in the desert.


Reggie Walker
(AP Photo)

Thanks to the departure of backup LB Monty Beisel and uncertainty regarding Karlos Dansby, two linebackers might prove worthy of a roster spot. Chase Bullock was a highly productive player at Maryland and fits the mold of Arizona's aggressive defense. Reggie Walker is a versatile defender that can be utilized in a variety of ways. If he's able to demonstrate his abilities in a reserve role and on special teams, he could develop into a valuable commodity.

Kick-return specialist Michael Ray Garvin displays elusiveness in the return game but could have an uphill battle to make the active roster. He is somewhat one-dimensional and unlikely to make in an impact as a receiver. However, working in Garvin's favor was Arizona's dismal return game last season. The Cardinals averaged less than 22 yards per kick return and lost one of their top contributors in RB J.J. Arrington.

In the secondary, Jameel Dowling could also be a long-shot due to the prior investments Arizona has made. The Cardinals used a first-round draft pick on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie a year ago and drafted Greg Toler in the fourth round this year. In addition, Arizona signed former Pittsburgh Steelers CB Bryant McFadden in free agency. Dowling exhibits a non-stop motor but could be squeezed out because of the Cardinals' depth at cornerback.

With SS Adrian Wilson and FS Antrel Rolle already patrolling Arizona's last line of defense, safety isn't necessarily a need position. Additionally, the Cardinals landed Rashad Johnson in the third round of the draft. Tony Davis is a reliable tackler and a highly instinctual player but there might not be room on the roster. Johnson along with backup Aaron Francisco provides great depth and should be able to step in if Wilson or Rolle suffer an injury.


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