Three Cardinals land on ESPN’s 2019 version of NFLRank

Aug 26, 2019, 11:23 AM
From left to right, outside linebacker Chandler Jones (AP), running back David Johnson (Tyler Drake...
From left to right, outside linebacker Chandler Jones (AP), running back David Johnson (Tyler Drake/ArizonaSports) and cornerback Patrick Peterson (AP) of the Arizona Cardinals.

The Arizona Cardinals don’t have swaths of top-tier talent, but they do have three of the best players at their respective positions.

Linebacker Chandler Jones, running back David Johnson and cornerback Patrick Peterson all made ESPN’s 2019 NFLRank, a list of the top 100 players in the league.

Predictably, their values, which were determined by a panel of 40 voters, dropped with Arizona coming off a 3-13 season.

At 65th, Jones ranked the highest among the Cardinals, which was 22 spots below his standing heading into last season.

Jones had 13.0 sacks last season, tied for seventh in NFL, but only beat his block within 2.5 seconds on 18% of pass rushes, the 54th-best pass rush win rate in NFL among 83 qualified DE/OLB.

The 29-year-old is attempting to put up another stellar season back in a 3-4 defense. In 2018, he tallied big numbers from a defensive end role under then-head coach Steve Wilks’ 4-3 scheme.

Next in line for Arizona in the pre-2019 NFLRank was Johnson, who fell from 27th last year to 74th heading into this season.

ESPN projections believe in the running back and estimate he’ll push 1,700 scrimmage yards with 11 touchdowns under first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s spread offense. A year ago, Johnson produced 1,386 yards from scrimmage with 10 touchdowns.

Three spots below Johnson in the NFLRank was Peterson. He fell even further down the list since 2018, when he was 20th in the ESPN exercise.

Though teams more and more want to stay away from Peterson, they won’t have to worry about it to start 2019. He will miss the first six games of the year due to his PED suspension, which itself will end an eight-year Pro Bowl streak — which brings up an even more astonishing stat over his eight-year NFL career.

Over the past eight seasons, no one has played more defensive snaps at any position than Peterson (7,937).


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