PFF: Cardinals secondary ranked No. 19 after a disappointing 2019
Injuries and suspensions plagued the Arizona Cardinals secondary last season, leading to a league-worst 6,432 yards allowed in 2019, including 4,510 yards through the air.
With a full season of Patrick Peterson and the return of Robert Alford from a broken leg, the Cardinals secondary could see some improvement in 2020.
That could be why the group was ranked No. 19 among all secondaries in the NFL by Pro Football Focus, instead of what could have been much worse.
Rookie Byron Murphy took the most snaps at cornerback for Arizona last season and the third-most defensive snaps for the team in general with 1,105.
With a full return of Peterson and Alford, more pressure should be alleviated from Murphy who graded out with a PFF rating of under 50.0 last season.
Chris Jones and Kevin Peterson could also provide depth for the position group should Murphy’s struggles continue.
At safety, Budda Baker looks to improve from a stellar season that left him ranked No. 97 in the NFL Top 100 player list.
Jalen Thompson occupies the other safety position. The second-year player out of Washington State graded out with a 64.4 last season after seeing a boost in playing time following the release of D.J. Swearinger.
Deionte Thompson and rookie Isaiah Simmons could also take snaps for the Cardinals at safety.
What will ultimately determine the success of the position group will be the play of Murphy and Alford at the cornerback positions. If those two can complement Peterson and Baker, who both have All-Pro potential, the Cardinals should be able to improve from the poor numbers posted in 2019.