This may or may not be news to the Arizona Cardinals front office but the team has a gem in its secondary, and his name isn’t Patrick Peterson.
Or at least that’s what CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco thinks.
This week, Prisco mined the pool of potential free agents and through his findings concluded that cornerback Greg Toler was the top under-the-radar player set to hit the market this spring.
After being selected in the fourth round out St. Paul’s College (Virginia) by Arizona back in 2009, Toler didn’t take long moving up the ranks of the Cardinals secondary. In 2010, Toler earned 13 starts opposite Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and recorded a career-high 90 tackles.
However, after missing the entire 2011 campaign due to an ACL injury sustained in the preseason, Toler has been limited in his ability to prove his worth as a must-have cornerback (only two starts in 2012).
Still, Prisco said that based on Toler’s film, the 28-year-old impresses with his man-to-man coverage skills and a rare willingness to tackle.
That’s the one thing that surprised me on tape: His willingness to tackle. He throws his body around, but he’s also more than capable of staying with good receivers. He can play press-man, off-man and he seems comfortable playing zone.
Toler, who had 27 total tackles and two interceptions last season, signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals in March 2012 for $1.26 million. Despite his previous health concerns and an incomplete body of work, Prisco believes Toler should command a decent chunk of change in free agency.
Toler has a ton of talent. He is physical. He is fast. And he can cover. With a little polish, he has a real chance to be a quality corner in the league — one worth a solid deal in free agency, but not necessarily the huge dollars.