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‘Pleasant surprise’ Daniel Munyer cracks Cardinals’ 53-man roster

Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Pasoni Tasini (65) tries to shed a block from offensive lineman Daniel Munyer (62) during an NFL football training camp Monday, July 24, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
LISTEN: Steve Keim, AZ Cardinals GM

When the Arizona Cardinals’ 53-man roster was revealed Saturday afternoon, there were a couple of surprises.

Perhaps the biggest was the inclusion of offensive lineman Daniel Munyer.

The 25-year-old was undrafted out of Colorado in 2015 and spent two seasons bouncing on and off the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad. He signed to the Cardinals practice squad last December and inked a future contract a week later.

An afterthought heading into camp, Munyer impressed general manager Steve Keim enough to earn a roster spot over the likes of second-year player Cole Toner (waived), rookie fourth-round pick Dorian Johnson (waived and re-signed to practice squad) and veteran Tony Bergstrom (traded to Baltimore).

“He has been one of the pleasant surprises of camp,” Keim told Doug and Wolf Tuesday on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station. “I think we had talked about it a couple of weeks ago that Kareem Martin, in my opinion, has been the most improved player. Daniel Munyer may have been the most pleasant surprise.

“He’s a natural knee-bender, he’s got great movement. He does a nice job climbing to the second level and sustaining blocks in space.”

Munyer figures to serve as the team’s backup center, behind starter A.Q. Shipley.

“He’s earned it. He’s done a great job,” Keim said. “He’s one of those types of players who came into the league on a practice squad and he’s just gotten better and better. He’s done everything right.

“He’s the kind of guy I think we can count on when in terms of depth and if you have an injury, you can plug him in and he can play and you can certainly win with him.”

If Munyer dresses for the Cardinals’ season-opener Sunday in Detroit, it will be only his second regular-season NFL game. He played one special teams snap for the Chiefs in Week 13 of the 2015 season — a 34-20 win over the Oakland Raiders. Munyer also saw a total of nine snaps (five on offense and four on special teams) in Kansas City’s 30-0 Wild Card win over Houston that same season.

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