DL Zach Allen one of players Vance Joseph is counting on

The Arizona Cardinals were ecstatic when Zach Allen became available to them in the third round of the 2019 draft. The team had a first-round grade on Allen and did not anticipate him falling that far.

Three years later and Allen has become one of the ascending players on the defense. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph believes he’s improved every year and is now one of the players the team counts on as a whole.

“As a rusher, he’s winning,” he said on Thursday. “The ball is coming out fairly fast (and) he’s winning his one-on-ones. Zach’s one of our guys that we count on playing good each week and he’s done that for us.”

Joseph mentioned that, injuries aside, Allen needed to add more size and strength, which has really expedited his development.

“He’s got bigger and stronger since his rookie year,” Joseph said. “That was Zach’s main issue. It wasn’t ability or how he played or his smarts — it was his body. He’s changed his body so now he’s making more plays in the trenches.

The Cardinals have a good defensive line duo in J.J. Watt and Zach Allen, both of which are not being helped by the current state of the edge rusher room.

Allen is going to be a pivotal part of the Cardinals’ defensive success or failures this season and the team would love for him to play into a contract extension this offseason.


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Story originally appeared on Cards Wire