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  • Devan Flint

My NFC West Roster Grades

Scoring System Summary - A+ = 10 D+ = 1 , All scores are added up then the average is found giving the score out of 10.


San Francisco 49ers

Overall Grade – B+ 7.0

Quarterback - B

- Garoppolo’s reputation all rested on that one play in the Super Bowl, 4th quarter, 1:40 on the clock, 3rd&10, down 24-20, Shanahan schemes Sanders open deep but Garoppolo overthrows him. Garoppolo had what would likely have been the Super Bowl winning play in his hands and he missed it. That one play tainted Garoppolo’s entire year, regular season and play-offs both. Garoppolo in fact had a very good year, he threw 27 touchdowns to 13 interceptions, completing 69.1% of his passes, while also leading the NFL in 3rd down completion percentage with 50%. He may ride Shanahan’s scheme and the 49ers run game to an extent but the Niners are 21-6 including the play-offs with Garoppolo and 4-20 without him, Garoppolo is a winner and that’s what matters most.

Running Backs - B

- Raheem Mostert is explosive, elusive and powerful runner who is undeniably fast but he narrative that he had a great postseason is false, he in fact had one incredible game which boosted his average numbers.

Vikings, 12 caries, 58 yards, 4.83 yards per carry

Packers 29 carries, 220 yards, 4 touchdowns, 7.59 yards per carry

Chiefs 12 carries, 58 yards, 1 touchdown, 4.83 yards per carry

Regardless he did still average 4 yards after contact per rush as well as totalling 17 missed tackles on 53 carries.

- Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon create a great 3 headed running attack. Both Coleman and McKinnon create instant mismatches out the back field against linebackers and are very elusive runners.

Wide Receivers - C

- Losing Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd are big loses for the 49ers. When Deebo returns halfway through the year they will be revamped but it’s likely he will take some time to get back to normal. Brandon Aiyuk has a huge opportunity to take the mantel of a number one receiver very early on in his career. Aiyuk finished his final year in college with 1,192 yards and 8 touchdowns as well as showcasing his speed, energy and elite ability after the catch. Bourne and Pettis will fight for the number 2 role while Taylor will likely start in the slot, Tavon Austin is one to watch for in Shanaha’ns innovative system especially on trick plays. However, neither of the 4 receivers just listed are number two quality receivers but instead more of a 3rd option, however, Shanahan’s offense and the competition will see some of them likely produce above their talent.

Tight Ends – A+

- George Kittle is overall the best tight end in football. Kittle is a physical freak and an absolute monster on the field, combining his elite intangibles and blocking with game changing after the catch ability. He might not be the route runner Travis Kelce but since 2010 Kittle’s 9.9 yards after catch in 2018 leads the NFL and it is that explosive ability with the ball in his hands that saw him finish 3rd in the NFL with 26 15+ yard receptions. Since 2017 only two tight ends have more than 1,000 receiving yards after the catch, Kelce with 1,397 and Kittle with 1,748, there simply is no stopping Kittle in the open field, he can run past you, through you as well as making you miss with a league high 20 missed tackles in 2019. One of Kittle’s underrated traits is his hands, 80.2% catch rate is incredible for a receiver and to then see it only fall to 78% on 3rd-down is the reason the 49ers passing game is elite on 3rd downs. Jordan Reed was a very underrated pick up this offseason. Reed was once a great receiving tight end back in 2015, he is a 6ft 2 incredibly athletic receiver but has struggled with injuries his entire career, if he can pull it together, he will be an elite addition.

Offensive Line – A-

- Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey is an elite tackle duo. Williams is one of the NFL’s premier tackles having made 7 straight Pro Bowls and blocking the pass at an elite level, while McGlinchey is developing into his 9th overall pick ceiling blocking for the run at a great level in 2019. While the interior of the offensive line is decent its nothing special, Richburg is a good pass blocking center but has his limitations, Tomlinson is a decent well-balanced guard and Brunskill and Garland will fight for the 2nd guard spot despite both being primarily rotational lineman.

Corner Backs – A-

- Richard Sherman is the real deal; he is a future hall of famer and elite cornerback even at age 32. Sherman proved all his doubters wrong in 2019 returning to his elite level play, the 49ers will now look to Moseley, Williams and Verrett to step up and perform opposite the all-time great. Moseley had a nice 2019 season proving he is very versatile similar to Williams. If Verrett can get healthy for once in his career and play at his previous level the 49ers will have a lockdown duo, but Verrett simply can’t stay healthy.

Safeties – B+

- Ward and Tartt have both struggled with injuries in recent years but if they can stay on the field, they can be a premier safety duo. Ward was elite in coverage in 2019 as well as great against the run, while Tartt is not quite on Wards level he is a good starter for any NFL team.

Edge Rushers – A

- You can’t get much better than: Pro Bowl, Defensive Rookie of the Year, 9 sacks, 16 tackles for loss and 25 quarterback hits in a stacked defensive line but that’s what Nick Bosa did as a rookie. Bosa will only get better heading into his second season and could post some monster numbers. Arik Armstead is an incredibly versatile defensive lineman with the ability to lie up inside or on the edge, stopping the run and rushing the passer from either. The 49ers elected to keep him instead of Buckner and we will see in 2020 whether that decision paid off. Dee Ford is looking like a waste of cap space at the moment in my view, he started 2 out of 11 games in 2019 despite earning $17 million annually. Ford is a sack artist who knocks the ball out, however, his limitations against the run are holding him back from becoming a starter.

Interior Defensive Line – B

- Arik Armstead often lines up inside but is primarily an edge defender so the mantel will fall to rookie Javon Kinlaw to literally replace Deforest Buckner. Kinlaw is a freak athlete at 6ft 5 324 lbs with a twitchy burst off the line of scrimmage but inconsistencies in technique and control could limit his production in the pros. Soloman Thomas is an under the radar bust after being drafted 3rd overall in 2017, he has 6 sacks in 46 games with 28 starts. He hasn’t lived up to expectations but still has the potential to be a great player. D.J. Jones adds some nice depth to the group but that’s it.

Linebackers – B+

- San Francisco’s linebacker unit has the potential to be elite. Kwon Alexander has only played 14 games over the last two seasons but has started every game he’s played in his career and is a nice cover and run defender when healthy. Warner is a good cover linebacker and leader of the defense, he has 174 solo tackles over the last 2 seasons showing he can tackle as well as cover. Greenlaw had a really nice rookie season performing very well in coverage, he just needs to build off that now in 2020.

Seattle Seahawks

Overall Grade – B+ 6.6

Quarterback – A+

- Russell Wilson’s greatness is overlooked time and time again. Wilson ranked 6th in passing yards with 4,110 and 3rd in passing touchdowns with 31 as well as 7th in yards per completion, 1st in Pro Football Focuses best 2019 deep passers and 5th in Quarterback Rating and QBR. Wilson was also sacked 48 times in 2019, which tied for the most, he was also hurried the most and blitzed the 2nd most times in the league. Ultimately, Wilson spends every game running for his life, he may not have Lamar Jackson speed and agility but before Jackson came around Wilson was that guy, in terms of athleticism and elusiveness. Further, Russell has incredible leadership and intangibles, in 2019 he was tied first in 4th quarter comebacks with 4 as well as tied first in game winning drives with 5. Heading into the 2020 season Russell Wilson is once again one of the league’s premier quarterbacks and a potential MVP.

Running Backs - A

- Chris Carson is often viewed as a product of the run first system in Seattle, however that couldn’t be further from the truth. Prior to Carson becoming the lead back in 2018, Russel Wilson was the Seahawks leading rusher in carries and yards, and Seattle had 5 running backs all with over 45 carries, and although backs like Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny have had higher yards per carry than Carson in 2018 and 2019 they have not shouldered close to the load that Carson has. Carson’s 3.5 yards after contact per rush are in the top 5 in running backs with 100 0r more carries since 2018 according to Pro Football Focus, and while he is a destructive force with the ball in his hands he is also very elusive, finishing second to only Nick Chubb (110) in missed tackles forced as a runner in the regular season since 2018 with 107. Carson does however have a fumble problem which I’m sure he can improve. Penny like many of Seattle’s early round picks looks like a potential bust. Penny averaged 5.7 yards per carry in 2019 showing signs of improvement but he has only rushed the ball 150 times in 2 seasons and still has missed 8 games to injury. Carlos Hyde is a great pick up who is very versatile and a number one running back in his own right.

Wide Receivers – B+

- Due to Seattle’s run first mentality Tyler Lockett’s yardage stats aren’t very impressive but by every other measure he is a great receiver. To be 24th in targets but 14th in catches, 2nd in catch percentage, tied 7th in touchdowns and 5th in first downs is undeniably great. At 5ft 10 Lockett has limitations to his game but both Lockett and his quarterback seem to know that and play to his strengths. When Seattle needed a big play they always turned to Wilson and Lockett to provide it and that showed in the Play-Offs where Lockett caught 13 of 18 targets for 99 yards per game. D.K. Metcalf has become slightly overrated this offseason, but the man is still a monster, Metcalf shocked scouts and teams in 2019 with his play after falling to 64th overall despite being 6ft 4, 229 lbs, absolutely shredded with blazing speed and incredibly strength. Metcalf finished with 900 yards and 7 touchdowns averaging 15.5 yards per catch. Metcalf also made some big-time catches including the game winner against the Eagles in the Play-offs, finishing that game with 160 yards. Dorsett bring even more speed to the Seahawks receiving corps and Moore will fight him for the 3rd receiver spot, Moore is a big play receiver but doesn’t possess close to the speed Dorsett provides on a consistent basis.

Tight Ends – B-

- Olsen is not what he once was and its very visible, he’s a great veteran and leader but won’t contribute is old production in 2020. He had some elite years but struggled with injuries in 2017-2018 and wasn’t the same in 2019. Will Dissly has some potential but has been injured too much, he has played 10 games in 2 years. He flashed some very nice play in 2019 before getting injured, if he can stay healthy maybe we will see what he looks like for a 16-game stretch.

Offensive Line - C

- Seattle’s offensive line is not a good unit by any means and needs a lot of improvement. Duane Brown is the one bright spot; he is a great pass blocker for Wilsons blind side but has some struggles blocking the run. Iupati is no longer the previous 4-time Pro Bowler, Shell is an average at best tackle and Finney has flashed some great play for the Steelers but only started 13 out of 59 games. Lewis will start right away as a rookie despite his limitations in the pass game due to the Seahawks holes and Lewis’ great run blocking ability.

Corner Backs - B

- Shaquill Griffin is a good number one corner who made his first career Pro Bowl in 2019. Griffin covers well and can step up and defend the run when called upon. Dunbar will line up opposite Griffin and while he had a great year in 2019 intercepting 4 passes and only allowing a 68.4 quarterback rating when targeted he has struggled in his previous 4 years in Washington. Tre Flowers is a nice 2nd or 3rd option who has started all 30 games he has played in during his first 2 years in Seattle.

Safeties – A+

- Jamal Adams is arguably the best safety in the entire NFL, in his first 3 seasons in the NFL he has amassed:

1 First Team All-Pro

2 Pro Bowls

46 Games

210 Tackles

28 Tackles for Loss

12 Sacks

6 Forced Fumbles

2 Interceptions

Adams is a truly elite game changer who can affect the game all over the field, he is an elite cover safety, blitzer and run defender. Diggs is also a nice cover safety who has totalled 9 interceptions the last 3 seasons, however, Blair showed flashes in 2019 of some great play which could eventually lead to him replacing Diggs as the starter.

Edge Rushers - C

- The Seahawks really have nothing off the edge. Irvin, Green, Collier, Mayowa or Taylor all could start at some point in 2020. Irvin had 8.5 sacks in 2019 and while he has had consistent numbers his whole career, he is more of a number two than a number one rusher. However, that is still better than Green, Collier and Mayowa who are more rotational edge defenders than consistent starters. Taylor has elite potential as a powerful edge defender after totalling 21 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks in his last two years in college as well as possessing elite athletic traits which could see him become a dangerous starter, however, he still needs to develop his rush moves and counters.

Interior Defensive Line - C

- Jarran Reed’s 10.5 sacks in 2018 looks more like a fluke than what’s to come after his 2 sacks and 0 tackles for loss in 2019, he is still a decent interior tackle just not a great one. Poona Ford is a great rotational run defender the question is whether he can now step up as a starter in 2020.

Linebackers – A+

- Bobby Wagner is hands down the best linebacker in the NFL without a doubt. Since 2014 in 6 seasons Wagner has made 5 First Team All-Pro’s and 6 Pro Bowls as well as 2 tackle leading seasons. Wagner is simply elite by every meaning of the word, everything he does is elite, whether it be covering, stopping the run, tackles, spying or blitzing, he can do it all. K.J. Wright isn’t too bad either himself, Wright is a do it all veteran linebacker who knows Seattle’s system and is a Super Bowl Champion after spending all 9 years of his career there. Seattle also spent the 27th overall pick on Jordyn Brooks this offseason, Brooks finished 2019 with 20 tackles for loss and 66 solo tackles, however, he struggles in coverage which is something he can look to develop whilst learning from the best in the NFL.

Los Angeles Rams

Overall Grade – B 5.9

Quarterback – B-

- Goff has proven to be a good quarterback when he has all the pieces around him. In 2017 and 2018 he had two very good years, however, when you have a great offensive line, Kupp, Woods and Cooks on the outside and prime Todd Gurley in the backfield it’s very difficult for a quarterback to not be successful. Regardless, taking a team to the Super Bowl in a win or a loss is deserved of respect. Whilst Goff’s play in 2019 was nothing to shout about it, I expect him to continue to grow in 2020.

Running Backs – C+

- Cam Akers is a candidate for offensive rookie of the year because that young man is going to shoulder such an important load for the Rams in 2020. LA are hoping that their 2020 52ndoverall pick can replace the loss of prime Todd Gurley. Akers is a consistent runner who can change his tempo and direction at the drop of a needle, he is an incredibly elusive runner but doesn’t quite have the home run hitting ability of some of the elite backs in the NFL. Akers has good vision and finishes all his runs looking for contact. Most importantly Akers is a 3 down back which will see him utilised in play-action run sets. Henderson is a nice back up option, but he only had 39 rushes as a rookie averaging 3.8 yards per carry so it’s safe to say Akers should beat him out.

Wide Receivers – A-

- Cooper Kupp is the most efficient receiver in the NFL, He catches everything regardless of the situation, he was the best receiver on 3rd and 4th downs in 2019 in my opinion as well as potentially the best in the RedZone. He may not have blazing speed, but he has elite quickness off the release, elusiveness and change in direction. Once the balls in his hands he is also elite, he is tough to get hold of and bring down, averaging 5.7 yards after catch and tieing for first amongst wide receiver for broken tackles in 2019. Kupp is also a very underrated route runner creating the separation to allow Jared Goff to put the ball in his hands. Robert Woods is criminally underrated despite being very productive over the past two seasons with 1,219 receiving yards in 2018 and 1,134 in 2019. Woods is one of the NFL’s best after the catch, he hits a second gear propelling him away from trailing defenders. Although Woods is slightly undersized at 6ft and isn’t the kind of receiver to go up and get it, he uses his athleticism and route running to get open and has sneaky good hands. Reynolds will fight Jefferson for the 3rdreceiver spot but Jefferson is a versatile wideout who can line up at all three receiver spots, he isn’t an incredible athlete but he runs an extensive route tree at a high level which will place him favourably in McVay’s offense.

Tight Ends – B+

- With Darren Waller and Mark Andrews breakout seasons in 2019 Tyler Higbee flew under the radar. Despite finishing the season with a healthy 734 receiving yards Higbee did not see many targets until Week 13 onwards in which he totalled 522 of his 734 yards averaging 104 yards a game over the 5-game stretch. Higbee also blocks at a high level and is clearly a threat in the passing game. Gerald Everett is a safe handed beast but has no affect after the catch, he is a great back-up tight end who would undoubtably start for some teams in the NFL.

Offensive Line - C

- Offensive line was the Rams downfall in 2019 and its likely to cause them problems again in 2020.Whitworth is a great pass blocking tackle but is a 38-year-old 14-year veteran and father time is sure to catch up to him soon. Havenstein had the worst season of his career in 2019 but is usually a very good tackle and the Rams will be hoping he returns to that form otherwise their line is in a dire state. Corbett and Edwards are both average at best at either guards’ spots, and while Blythe had a nice 2018 season at center he regressed a lot in 2019 so it’s hard to judge which season was the anomaly.

Corner Backs – A+

- Jalen Ramsey is a top three corner in the NFL in my view, he has made 3 straight Pro Bowls and is an elite lockdown corner, separating from Ramsey is close to impossible in man to man, he can cover the entire route tree and make big plays. Now with a year under his belt in the Rams system he will thrive in 2020. Hill and Long Jr are not great 2nd and 3rd options but Ramsey will follow the number receivers all year long so they should see more favourable assignments.

Safeties - B

- Taylor Rapp and John Johnson III had a lot of potential as a safety duo, Rapp had a decent rookie season which saw him tackle and cover well allowing only 61.3% of his targets to be completed. And while Johnson only played 5 games in 2019 due to injury but when seen healthy, he is a great coverage safety which will undoubtably help the Rams secondary.

Edge Rushers – B-

- The Rams don’t have that one guy who can lead this unit but Floyd and Ebukham will both get the opportunity to develop into that. While Floyd is a bust that has shown flashes of his athletic potential, Ebukham has played above expectations after being drafted in the 4th round in 2017, so far in his career he has been a nice rotational guy but now he has the chance to be that number one guy. Terrel Lewis will likely also see a good number of snaps as a rookie, Lewis has some durability concerns but is a great developmental edge defender who has totalled 7 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss in only 14 college games. With the right coaching and training he could be a monster for years to come.

Interior Defensive Line – A+

- Aaron Donald is far beyond any other defensive tackle in football and he resume speaks for itself:

6 Seasons

6 Pro Bowls

5 First Team All-Pros

2 Defensive Player of Years (2017, 2018)

Defensive Rookie of the Year

90 Games

72 Sacks

117 Tackles for Loss

173 Quarterback Hits

15 Forced Fumbles

2x Tackles for Loss leader (2018, 2019)

20.5 Sacks in one season (2018)

He is a game changer, wrecker and future Hall of Famer, While Jones and Cox are elite, they still don’t come close to Donald. Brockers and Robinson are both very nice pieces for this unit. While neither provides any pass rush presence or productivity they are both great 2 down run defenders which should help drastically with some of their issues against the run in 2019.

Linebackers – D+

- The Rams simply have the worst linebacker group in football:

Micah Kiser, 5th round pick in 2018, started 0 games in 2018 and missed 2019 to injury.

Troy Reeder, undrafted rookie who started 8 games in 2019.

Kenny Young, 4th round pick that the Ravens traded after one season who didn’t start a game for the Rams in his 9 appearances in 2019.

All 3 are back up level linebackers, two of whom will be expected to pick up the mantel of starters in 2020. It is a huge opportunity for the three guys but given their play so far I think it’s incredibly unlikely they will develop into a above average unit.

Arizona Cardinals

Overall Grade – B 5.6

Quarterback - B

- The Cardinals may not have had the greatest year in 2019 but Kyler showed he possesses all the tools to be great quarterback in the NFL. Kyler’s explosive elusiveness he showed off in college correlated to the pros with him totalling 544 rushing yards placing him 2nd amongst quarterbacks. Kyler also showed his natural accuracy and arm talent in 2019 throwing for 3,713 yards and 20 touchdowns while completing 64.4% of his passes which is impressive for a rookie. Murray ranked 15th in QBR as well as Pro Football Focuses 6th best deep passer in 2019 with a 41.9% completion percentage on throws over 20 yards, proving he really is a defences nightmare. It’s also worth noting that although Kyler was sacked 48 times Pro Football Focus charged Murray at being at fault for 23 of those sacks which led the NFL, so if Kyler can clear up the negative plays in 2020 as well as continuing to grow as a passer I think we could see a huge year in 2020.

Running Backs - B

- Kenyan Drake had a great end of the 2019 season, in 8 games Drake totalled 643 yards which meant averaging 80.4 yards per game which would’ve ranked 8th amongst running backs and his 5.2 yards per carry which would have led the league. Drake doesn’t have jump off your screen explosiveness, but he does have breakaway speed as well as great vision and ball carrier moves. However, up to those 8 games Drake has had a relatively underwhelming career, so I’d like to see Drake perform again before proclaiming him a great running back. Chase Edmonds is a decent duel threat, but the Cardinals brought Drake in and tagged him for a reason, Edmonds is a backup.

Wide Receivers - A

- Over the last 5 seasons Hopkins has played with Brandon Weeden, T.J. Yates, Ryan Mallet, Brian Hoyer, Brock Osweiler, Tom Savage, A.J. McCarron and eventually got to play with Deshaun Watson, Watson is the only quarterback who is still as starter and the majority of them are no longer in the league, yet Hopkins is still 2nd in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns over the last 5 seasons trailing only Julio Jones or Antonio Brown. Hopkins may not an athletic freak of nature like a Julio Jones or Tyreek Hill, but he has the best hands, over the last 13 years they have tracked drops Hopkins has the most consecutive catches without a drop, 225, second went only 121 catches without a drop. Hopkins has been productive ever since he entered the league regardless of the level of quarterbacks he’s played with and once he got Deshaun Watson, he really flew onto the big screen along with his plethora of incredible catches contorting his body and hands to quite literally catch everything in 2018. Now Arizona has a true number one receiver we could see Fitzgerald potentially eclipse 1,000 yards again as well as Kirk and Isabella feast from within the slot. Larry Legend is still a great receiver and will become one of the league’s best number two options and Kirk is a very underrated route runner, slot receiver and red zone threat. If Isabella can develop his route running to match his blazing speed that saw him average 21 yards per catch in 2019 defenses could be in trouble.

Tight Ends - C

- Maxx Williams is an elite blocking tight end but offers close to nothing in the passing game. Dan Arnold will become the Cardinals primary receiving option at tight end and while he caught 6 out of 10 targets for 17 yards per catch in 2019 there is no guarantee he will be able to shoulder the load of a starter.

Offensive Line - C

- While Murray accounted for 23 of his 48 sacks, Arizona’s offensive line was still not great. D.J. Humphries is the best player on the line after developing nicely in recent years. Humphries is a good pass blocking tackle and has shown flashes of great run blocking play. Justin Pugh is a nice pass blocking starter at guard but has been awful against the run, J.R. Sweezy has started 94 games in 8 years so has plenty of experience but he’s never performed at a high level and Mason Cole is a guard who will likely play center in 2020 and in my opinion is back-up level, if Josh Jones gets thrusted into the starting line-up Murray could be in trouble from the right hand side. Jones is raw and developmental with some great potential, but teams will look take advantage of him in pass sets.

Corner Backs - B

- Patrick Peterson is still a very good corner who like Sherman could once again be a lockdown corner despite ageing. However, is the Cardinals 2nd and 3rd options who are cause for concern. Byron Murphy had a bad rookie season allowing a 69.6% completion rate and 111.2 quarterback rating when targeted. A lot of corners struggle in their first year so don’t right off Murphy yet as he has all the athletic traits and size to be a good number two corner, however, Dre Kirkpatrick is an ageing averaging corner who might have started a lot of games in Cincinnati but wot bring much to the Cardinals cornerback room.

Safeties – B-

- Budda Baker is a great safety who just signed a 4-year $59 million deal making him the highest paid safety in NFL history, in 3 seasons he has made 2 Pro Bowls, 1 first team All-Pro and amassed 240 tackles. He is extremely versatile playing all over the field similar to Honey Badger, but the guy starting opposite him causes worry, Jalen Thompson had some nice play as a rookie in coverage but did struggle defending the run, however, Deionte Johnson was worse in 2019 struggling in both coverage and against the run so it will be interesting to see who steps up in 2020 and wins the starting job.

Edge Rushers – A+

- Chandler Jones is the best pass rusher in the NFL, in his 4 years in Arizona he has totalled:

60 Sacks

67 Tackles for Loss

98 QB hits

17 FF

2 Pro Bowls

2 First team All-Pros

He also had 19 sacks and 8 forced fumbles in 2019 which finally allowed him to have a fraction of the attention he deserves that is so often given to the big names instead of the big producers. Kennard is a nice addition with his 14 sacks and 18 tackles for loss over the last 2 seasons, but he isn’t going to change life on defense opposite Jones but is a nice addition. Reddick is looking like a bust at 13th overall, he is clearly athletically gifted and talented, but his production has never matched that.

Interior Defensive Line - C

- Arizona’s interior defensive line is stacked with potential it just needs time to develop. Zach Allen will look to get more snaps and develop after missing most of 2019 to injury and while Fotu and Lawrence were both drafted in the 4th round they both have good potential but need to develop otherwise they will be limited to rotational early down players. Phillips and Peters will be the day one starters and although Phillips had a statistical breakout season with 9 sacks in 2019, they came on very few pressures and his overall play was the same as his 4 years prior, average. Corey Peters is a 9-year veteran and a very nice run defender, however, as he ages his athleticism will continue to diminish which could pave the way for a younger guy to step in.

Linebackers – B-

- The Cardinals linebacker group has some elite potential due to Isaiah Simmons but I don’t believe he will have that elite impact as a rookie but instead in his 2nd or 3rd year starting. Out of the gate Simmons is a versatile athletic freak at 6ft 4 running a 4.39 40-yard dash, he can cover receivers in the slot and tight ends over the middle so in coverage he will be an instant impact however due to his frame he could struggle a little against the run which is where Hicks and Campbell can help. Hicks is a good run defender and Campbell has amassed 234 solo tackles in his first 4 seasons proving he can make the necessary tackles needed.



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