Rookie CB Marco Wilson leaning on CB Byron Murphy to start NFL career

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The Arizona Cardinals are very high on the talent of rookie cornerback Marco Wilson. They believe he will be the steal of their draft class. Wilson might not play much on defense early but has learned a lot so far and has a veteran teammate taking him under his wings.

Wilson told Justin Melo in an interview for Cards Wire that he is learning a lot from third-year cornerback Byron Murphy.

“I’ve really leaned on and taken the time to learn from Byron Murphy,” Wilson said. “He’s taken me under his wing and has been very helpful with my transition to the league so far. I’m thankful to call him a friend.”

Murphy is a very good player to gravitate toward. The Cardinals drafted him in the second round in 2019 but had him rated the fifth overall player on their draft board.

They have high hopes for him in 2020 and he and Wilson both have versatile roles. Murphy is their slot cornerback but will also play outside this season.

That is what Wilson did in offseason work.

I’ve spent time both at outside cornerback and at the nickel back spot as well,” he said. “I’m a versatile guy that can move around and play multiple roles on defense. I’m happy that they’re trusting me enough to learn both positions.”

Murphy struggled as a rookie when he was forced into playing right away. He improved in Year 2 and now is poised to be perhaps their best cornerback.

That is something Wilson can watch.

Unlike Murphy, he likely won’t be asked to play much as a rookie unless there are dire circumstances like there were in 2019 for Murphy when Patrick Peterson was suspended for six games and Robert Alford broke his leg in training camp.

But he can see how a player who works extremely hard can ascend as a player.

Wilson is learning that everything about the NFL is serious.

“I have learned that the NFL is a business first and foremost. You have to take every aspect of it seriously. It’s all so important, especially when it comes to taking care of your body,” he said.

If Wilson does develop into a solid player, the Cardinals could end up with a pair of talented, versatile cornerbacks on the field, able to cover any receiver, inside or outside.

Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify.

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