Cardinals expect top 2 draft picks to contribute a lot in rookie season

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Jess Root
·1 min read
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The Arizona Cardinals have not always gotten immediate contributions from their top draft picks. Whether it is being inactive all season for tackle D.J. Humphries or it is slowly getting a role like Isaiah Simmons last season, it feels like early rookie contributions are the exception and not the norm, which is odd for a team that has not been to the playoffs since 2015.

With the 2021 draft class, there is a mandate from general manager Steve Keim.

“Steve made that crystal clear to the coaching staff and the personnel department. Those first two picks need to play, to play early, and play a lot,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said after the draft was over. “That was the mission and I feel good about where it’s at.”

Their first two picks were linebacker Zaven Collins and receiver Rondale Moore.

Getting Collins into the lineup might be more challenging because of his position, as Jordan Hicks is a team captain and the quarterback of the defense. He rarely comes off the field, having played 100% of the team’s defensive snaps in 2019 and 92% of them last season.

Moore should slide immediately into a WR4 role and could push Christian Kirk as the third wideout. The Cardinals run a lot of four-receiver sets and Moore appears set to overtake Andy Isabella as the fourth receiver.

It would appear there will be a concerted effort to make sure they play and put into situations to succeed, so they can keep playing.

It is something Cardinals fans will welcome.

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