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Cardinals’ Rosen, Kirk make NFL.com’s early 2018 All-Rookie Team

(AP photos)
LISTEN: Bucky Brooks, NFL Media Analyst

We are a long way away from the start of the NFL season, let alone the preseason or training camp.

With that in mind, it’s never too early to start making predictions, and NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks made some by taking a swing at who will be the best rookies at each position in the 2018 season.

Despite three other quarterbacks taken ahead of Arizona Cardinals first-round pick Josh Rosen, Brooks believes Rosen will be the rookie quarterback to make the biggest impact in year one.

Despite being the last of the Tier 1 quarterbacks to come off the board, Rosen lands in the best spot to showcase his talents as a natural passer.

It’s no surprise to hear that from Brooks, who is a huge fan of Rosen.

In mid-March, he called Rosen “the most polished quarterback prospect I’ve scouted since Andrew Luck entered the league in 2012.”

Overall, Rosen is about as complete as they come at the position with a polished game that is ripped straight from an instructional video on how to play the position. He can make throws to every area of the field with pinpoint accuracy and precision. Although there are some questions about his intangibles and commitment level from some scouts around the league, there’s no disputing his talent, game or potential.

The Ringer’s Danny Heifetz dubbed Rosen “the perfect quarterback for the Cardinals to win now.”

The Cardinals now have their quarterback of their short- and long-term future for the first time in a decade. He immediately puts them back in contention for the NFC West title.

Rosen, of course, will have to beat out not only Sam Bradford for the starting position, but even Mike Glennon for the backup position.

Bradford signed a one-year deal worth $20 million and has a team option for the next year. The 30-year-old, of course, has an extensive history of injuries and that could lead to Rosen’s emergence this upcoming season.

Second-round pick Christian Kirk, meanwhile, also made the list at wide receiver.

The Cardinals’ new WR2 should pile up big numbers opposite Larry Fitzgerald as the designated “chain mover” in the team’s new scheme. Kirk shows the skeptics that he is more than a slot receiver by ringing up yards and scores as a perimeter playmaker.

Kirk will have an opportunity to produce right away. Jaron Brown and John Brown combined for 52 catches in 2017 and both departed in free agency. The only replacements Arizona brought in were Kirk, Brice Butler and Cobi Hamilton.

2017 third-round pick Chad Williams could also emerge, but Kirk’s dependent style of play as a pass-catcher is a great fit for instant contributions.

In the NFC West, San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey was the only other nominee.

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