Breaking Down The Arizona Cardinals – The Elite

David Johnson Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals did not have the 2017 NFL Season that many expected they might; injuries, poor results, players maybe not as good as we think they might be – whatever the reason for it, the latter one is what is focussed on here.

So, let’s break down the Arizona Cardinals…beginning with ‘The Elite’

Now, this seems like a basic premise – some guy who thinks he knows best (me!) breaks down the Cardinals roster into certain headings; like “the elite”, where the best players belong to the “solid starters” (where you know what you’re getting, but easily replaceable with superior talents) and finally those who you wonder why they are still even around.

Before we begin, I’ve opted to cut this down to include only those players that are under contract for 2018 and beyond.

Whether they all remain Arizona Cardinals at the beginning of the 2018 NFL Season remains to be seen, but that’s the rule here in case you’re wondering why certain players might be omitted.

Definitely a controversial subject for many, bound to be many who disagree with a lot of the selections I make with regards to some players. But here goes with part one (of several)…

Quite self-explanatory, right? The top of the totem pole. The guys that are amongst (if not, the) best at their position in the whole league.

Patrick Peterson, CB – Easy one to start off with but the 5th overall selection all the way back in 2011 ranks as one of the best players in his position; in fact, you could probably put together a rather solid case to say he is THE BEST CORNERBACK in the NFL.

I would do but I already know it to be true.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR – The GOAT. If he wasn’t in the “Elite”, then there may have been an angry mob at my front door until he was placed here. Put the torches and pitchforks back, for the time being, he’s here and he’s going nowhere.

There’s a lot of great wide receivers in the league right now, many of whom have a chance of one day surpassing Larry’s second place to Jerry Rice in nearly every single receiving category, but I’d still consider him an elite talent.

David Johnson, RB – If it wasn’t for injury, who knows how this season may have panned out for the Arizona Cardinals. Ah well, we will never know.

What we do know is that Baevid is one of the league’s best dual-threat running backs and we sorely missed him on Sundays this season. He’ll be back in 2018, so NFL defences better watch out.

Chandler Jones, OLB – Lastly in the ‘elite’ category, Chandler Jones is one of the premier pass-rushers in the entire league.

Since trading for him, Jones has been amongst the league’s best sack-getters and, even with the loss of Markus Golden this season, he’s continued to be a menace to all opposing quarterbacks he has faced.

Definitely deserves a spot in this group.

Probably not a catchy name like “The Elite” but whatever – these are guys that are on the fringes of greatness; maybe they’ve been there before and are clawing their way back into contention? Only a couple of names here…

Tyrann Mathieu, FS – The Honey Badger is a massive fan favourite in the desert and the organisation are clearly fans of Mathieu given the massive extension they tied him to.

He has shown in the past he is amongst the league’s best defensive players, putting together a DPOTY-calibre year before falling foul of another season-ending injury.

If he was healthy throughout his career, he’d be a lock for the elite…for now, he’s fighting his way back into contention.

Adrian Peterson, RB – Some see Adrian Peterson still as an elite running back but I’m loathed to put two running backs into that category – especially with Peterson nearing the end of his Hall of Fame career.

He has been elite in the past but is he still? I’m not sure. So that’s why he’s stuck in this fringe group of players.

Just the 6 players make it into this section of our roster breakdown? Did we miss somebody out or do you think we have this right?

Next time we’ll look at the guys who will, alongside these guys, of course, be the futures of the franchise going forward. Some interesting names included, some maybe you’ll disagree with.

Until then…

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