Cardinals rank No. 30 on Football Outsiders’ under-25 talent list
Heading into the 2022 NFL season, the Arizona Cardinals are among teams that will rely on many veteran players.
The Cardinals were one of the older teams in the league last year, with an average age of 26.7 in 2021, ranking No. 29.
Still in training camp, Arizona’s average age has yet to be determined, but the Cardinals are once again set to be one of the league’s older teams.
As a result, the Cardinals were ranked No. 30 for their talent under the age of 25 by Football Outsiders’ Scott Spratt.
Unfortunately for Arizona in this case, a number of talented players just turned 25, including quarterback Kyler Murray who celebrated his 25th birthday on Sunday.
Murray isn’t the only Cardinals’ player to just miss the age 25 cut-off, joining Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown, Josh Jones and Zach Allen, who turns 25 just before the season’s start.
Spratt cited safety Jalen Thompson as the only player on the roster under 25 to be considered a “blue-chip player,” calling Thompson a proven young defender.
Thompson has an excellent 10.6% broken tackle rate the past two seasons and is part of one of the best safety duos in football with All-Pro veteran Budda Baker.
With Thompson being the only player under 25 who stands out to Spratt, that leaves off the likes of Byron Murphy Jr., Isaiah Simmons and Rondale Moore.
It isn’t fair to say that the team’s most recent two first-round draft picks, Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins, are busts … But both Simmons and Collins play non-premium defensive positions, and the team could suffer from a misallocation of these resources if its pass rush slips without star veteran Chandler Jones.
Simmons and Collins, however, are set to play multiple positions across the Cardinals’ defense.
Sticking with the secondary, Murphy and Marco Wilson are set to be Arizona’s top cornerback options this season, both under the age of 25.
However, Spratt isn’t particularly high on the secondary pairing.
The Cardinals will likely start Byron Murphy Jr. and Marco Wilson as their top two cornerbacks. But neither ranked in the top-50 among regular corners with 7.6 and 7.9 yards allowed per target last season, respectively.
The Cardinals ranked No. 13 in last year’s team rankings of talent under 25.