Cardinals rookies on cusp of writing new chapter in their football journeys

May 9, 2024, 6:23 PM | Updated: May 10, 2024, 8:01 pm

TEMPE — For the 12 members of the Arizona Cardinals’ 2024 NFL Draft class, hearing their name called last month was a monumental moment in each of their young lives.

Getting drafted marked a culmination of hard work, dedication and sacrifice for all of Arizona’s new athletes.

But while the draft marked the end of one journey, it — and rookie minicamp kicking off Friday — signaled the beginning of another.

“You get drafted, right? That’s like turning the page, but the page is blank. There’s nothing there,” offensive tackle and fifth-rounder Christian Jones said Thursday. “Starting tomorrow, that’s when I get to start writing my story. I’m excited. This is all that everyone’s been working for. Take it one day at a time. There’s only one first day. You can only go up from there.”

“If there’s (an excitement) scale, I’d break it,” tight end and third-rounder Tip Reiman added. “I love it. I’m so excited to be with a team and an organization. Just want to put my head down and work.”

With the draft process and all the time and effort that goes into a lot of non-football activities now a thing of the past, Jones, Reiman and the rest of the Cardinals rookies get their first taste of on-the-field NFL action beginning with Day 1 of rookie minicamp.

We’re still a ways from training camp, but it’s at least a start.

And you better believe Arizona’s batch of rookies are champing at the bit to really get rolling.

“I got off the plane, I felt nothing but sunshine, I saw nothing but palm trees,” second-round pick and cornerback Max Melton said Thursday. “It’s a great feeling, but I’m excited to get to work. I saw a couple guys in the building already and I’m ready to hit rookie minicamp.”

“My day-to-day goal is to take it day-by-day, literally,” the young cornerback added. “You never want to look too far ahead. I just want to be where my feet are and be in the moment and get the best out of whatever moment I’m in. If it’s in the meeting, if I’m in the training room, if I’m out on the field, just take the best out of whatever moment you can get pretty much.”

How long does the Cardinals’ rookie minicamp run for?

Kicking off Friday, Arizona’s rookie minicamp will run through Sunday.

From there, the next time players will reconvene in a structured team setting is May 20 for the first round of voluntary organized team activities.

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