Doug & Wolf power poll: 5 most impactful Cardinals additions for 2021
Revamping the roster through free agent additions, a trade and the NFL Draft, Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim and the front office hit the grindstone hard this offseason.
Looking at the new influx of talent, Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf ranked their top five most important players to the Cardinals’ playoff hopes in 2021 with an impromptu poll Tuesday.
A look at how the guys ranked the newcomers, with thoughts on each:
5. WR Rondale Moore: “Is he going to be able to stretch the field, catch the ball down the field and do things [in Arizona] that he didn’t do at Purdue to set up all the other receivers for the underneath route?”
4. LB Zaven Collins: “Sorry to put it on a rookies, but Zaven Collins, are you gonna be able to bring it? If they look at Jordan Hicks and say, ‘Your time has come,’ then obviously you’re gonna be very important. … It’s the whole middle of those linebackers are going to be vitally important.”
3. WR A.J. Green: “Listen, if they would have signed A.J. Green from any other team I’m a nonbeliever with the way he’s played the last couple years. I believe the Bengals wear on you. Not the city, the organization. … Now A.J. Green is clean of that and now he can prove that ‘it was the Bengals, it wasn’t me.’ I think A.J. Green has to come through for this team to be successful.”
2. DE J.J. Watt: “If J.J. Watt plays 16 games at even 90% of the old J.J. Watt, and I can even somewhat include Chandler Jones as a new addition since he wasn’t here last year because of the injury. You give me those two guys playing at that level, it is scary. I’m wishful thinking but when you say who are the top five guys that’s got to come through that are the biggest additions, a healthy J.J. Watt is a stud.”
1. CB Malcolm Butler: “It’s hard for you to sell me the cornerback room is where it needs to be with upper-level talent. If Malcolm Butler is able to step in and be a shutdown No. 1 corner, game changer for the Arizona Cardinals.”
5. WR A.J. Green: “This is a guy that is gonna be playing opposite of DeAndre Hopkins of course. And because of that he’s gonna draw an awful lot of single coverage. He’s one of these guys that when he’s covered he’s still open. Throw him the football. That’s gonna be something Kyler Murray is gonna have to learn.”
4. WR Rondale Moore: “This guy has got explosive speed. If you tell me you can line him up in the slot and let him run down the middle of the field, he’s gonna punch holes in secondaries. And those holes will be filled with the likes of A.J. Green and DeAndre Hopkins.”
3. CB Malcolm Butler: “Malcolm Butler is a pure dog right now and he’s gonna be opposite Robert Alford. Let’s hope that happens, ladies and gentlemen. If that happens, you have Byron Murphy as your (nickel) corner, that’s gonna be good. Trust me on that, that’s gonna be a good corner group.”
2. DE J.J. Watt: “Because of the mentality he’s gonna bring, because of the physicality he’s gonna bring in particular to that line of scrimmage, because he is a dog. If you get enough dogs in the locker room even the cats start barking. I love J.J. Watt.”
1. C Rodney Hudson: “Brought in by Steve Keim and the Arizona Cardinals, signed to an extension. This the best center in the National Football League. He’s gonna have a profound impact on Kyler Murray, an intangible impact on Kyler Murray, and a very intangible impact on keeping that pocket solidified. With the line of scrimmage and the physicality that he brings, no doubt about it.”