Cardinals’ Markus Golden lands on Mel Kiper’s All-Rookie Team

Jan 7, 2016, 7:41 AM | Updated: 3:05 pm
Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Markus Golden (44) celebrates his sack of San Francisco 49ers ...
Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Markus Golden (44) celebrates his sack of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

During a season in which they won a franchise-record 13 games, the Arizona Cardinals didn’t get a contribution from their first-round draft pick, offensive tackle D.J. Humphries.

The 24th overall pick didn’t play a down for head coach Bruce Arians all season. In fact, he didn’t even dress for a single game day.

But the emergence of their second-round pick, outside linebacker Markus Golden, has helped ensure it was still a productive draft haul for general manager Steve Keim and the team.

Golden played in 15 games (six starts) and racked up 31 total tackles, four sacks and forced two fumbles. He also led the team and ranked 15th in the league with 24 quarterback hurries.

His rookie season has been recognized. Mel Kiper of ESPN named Golden as one of the starting outside linebackers on his All-Rookie Team, released Thursday in an Insider piece.

“Golden looks like an absolute steal for the Cardinals. He’s going to get his share of sacks in the future (and maybe in the playoffs),” Kiper wrote about Golden.

The former Missouri Tiger was the only Cardinal on Kiper’s squad and he was joined by Washington’s Preston Smith at the outside linebacker position.

The defense was highlighted by Kiper’s pick for Defensive Rookie of the Year, New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams, who had 63 total tackles and three sacks on the season.

Golden’s fellow Arizona rookie, running back David Johnson, was left off the team despite his all-purpose excellence in 2015. Johnson, a third-round pick out of Northern Iowa, amassed 1,636 all-purpose yards, good enough for eighth-most in the league and third among rookies behind Seattle’s Tyler Lockett and Detroit’s Ameer Abdullah. Johnson’s 13 touchdowns were tied for second-most in the league.

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston, last spring’s top overall pick, highlighted Kiper’s All-Rookie Offense, which also included St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley and Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper.

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