PFF: Cardinals secondary ranks as one of NFL’s worst
Jun 24, 2023, 11:05 AM
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Arizona Cardinals have major question marks defensively entering the 2023 season.
With safety Budda Baker seemingly staying with the team for at least the start of the year, Arizona’s secondary will consist of a rotation of CB Antonio Hamilton Sr., CB Marco Wilson, CB Isaiah Simmons, S Jalen Thompson and Baker.
Pro Football Focus’ John Kosko believes the Cardinals have the No. 29 ranked secondary entering the season due to inexperience and not enough talent.
The Cardinals’ redeeming qualities can be found at safety, as Baker is coming off a 73.7 grade in 2022 and Isaiah Simmons has some strong points to his game.
Still, this unit allowed the highest success rate in 2022.
It will be a wildcard to see how Simmons does in a full offseason regiment with the secondary. Simmons was drafted out of Clemson as a jack of all trades, someone who had the ability to play inside and outside linebacker, cornerback and safety, but that has yet to be seen consistently in the secondary.
Baker made the Pro Bowl team every year of his career besides 2018 and has been the best player on the Cardinals’ defense for multiple years.
Thompson, Baker’s running mate in the secondary, has quietly been one of the Cardinals’ best defensive players over his four years with the team. Despite being overshadowed by Baker, Thompson has two 110-plus tackle seasons in the last two seasons and has four interceptions in that time.
Wilson had a successful rookie campaign but struggled in year two and became a second-unit corner under Vance Joseph.
Hamilton saw positives in Arizona but missed time due to a fluke injury with boiling water. He has recorded 82 tackles in 27 games in the Valley.
PFF ranked the Cardinals’ secondary ahead of the Las Vegas Raiders, Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Rams.