It’s only one preseason game, but it’s hard not to come away impressed with some of the young players on the Arizona Cardinals roster.
Clearly, second-round pick Daryl Washington was the best player on the field with his 13 tackles, pressure hits on the quarterback and fumble recovery, and he could make a huge impact this season. Arizona is likely to keep four inside linebackers and with Paris Lenon, Washington and Gerald Hayes locks there will be a nice battle between veterans Monty Beisel and Pago Togafau.
Togafau, who was signed August 4th after the Cardinals released Ali Highsmith, was very impressive Saturday night, making 6 tackles and grabbing the early edge on Beisel.
On offense how could you not like the two grabs made by Stanford tight end Jim Dray (2 receptions, 26 yards) and the 34-yard sideline pull down by Idaho wide receiver Max Komar. The two rookies are likely headed to the practice squad, but clearly gave head coach Ken Whisenhunt what he wanted — competition. Arizona is either going to carry six wide receivers and three tight ends or five wide receivers and four tight ends. Either way, Dray and Komar are on the outside looking in. Right now the Cardinals have five locks at wide receiver — Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, Early Doucet, Stephen Williams and Andre Roberts. If Arizona keeps a sixth receiver Onrea Jones right now would have the inside track for the position.
As for tight end there are two locks — Ben Patrick and Anthony Becht. Stephen Spach is close to a lock as well. And, if they carry four tight ends, Dominique Byrd would have edge for the job. Both Dray and Komar showed something and clearly will have the coaching staff paying more attention to them.
Quarterback John Skelton, a fifth-round pick out of Fordham, showed nice touch on his deep ball, including the pass to Komar and a 23-yarder to Williams, and I’m looking forward to seeing some more of him in these preseason games.