Youth is served

Posted by Darren Urban on July 18, 2012 – 10:12 am

Football Outsiders, via the ESPN Insider area, has put together NFL rankings of the 32 teams based on the quality of players each team has of players 25 years old and younger. The list does have influences beyond just age, among them whether the young players starting last season were doing so out of talent or just being an injury replacement, how much those young players impact the passing game (because that’s where the league is headed) and if a team has a talented young quarterback.

The Patriots are No. 1, the Lions No. 2 (two teams the Cards play this season). The Cardinals are 17th on the list. Unfortunately, NFC West rivals are higher. The 49ers are 15th, the Seahawks 12th. (The Rams are 24th.) As always, these are subjective opinions, but the analysis of the Cards reads:

“This all starts with CB Patrick Peterson. It’s not often you find a player with the talent to both cover No. 1 receivers and return punts at a high level, and we nudged Arizona up accordingly. With LBs Sam Acho and O’Brien Schofield having another year of NFL experience under their belt, odds are the Cardinals will generate a better pass rush than they did last season. Dan Williams had a down year, but he’s still one of the more physically gifted nose tackles in the game. The offense isn’t as settled, but what’s impressive is the sheer number of NFL-caliber players they can throw at you: QB John Skelton, WR Andre Roberts, WR Michael Floyd, TE Rob Housler and RBs Beanie Wells and LaRod Stephens-Howling. We have to reward that quantity, even if most of that group hasn’t made a huge impact yet.”

Building through youth and the draft is the only way to really create any kind of sustained long-term success in this league. I am shocked, to be honest, that LB Daryl Washington — still 25 — is not on the list. Out of every young player the Cards have, I’d put Washington right below Peterson.

Schofield is also 14th on an accompanying list of under-the-radar top prospect list (players drafted in the third round or later.)

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9 Responses to “Youth is served”

  1. By Showme4570 on Jul 18, 2012 | Reply

    Are you ever surprised at the amount of methods these sports writers can come up with to diss our team. I have taken some time, since I am currently disabled and have a lot of time at home, to look at the teams we are going to play. I do not see even one team that we “cannot” beat. Our defense will help us win in New England. How old is Calais? Just curious but he may be over 25 I guess. Our CBs are going to be fine this year but the main thing is all the plays are inserted and I firmly beleive that Ray Horton (Rays Plays) will keep any offense off balance now that our players understand and trust the system and each other. At least they didn’t have us at the bottom this time like the Coaching Staff ratings or the Offense Ratings. Our defense was rated 18 and we play 9 times this year with teams whose defense is rated higher. I enjoy your posts so keep them coming my friend. During the offseason I have these withdrawal symptoms and your posts as well as Somers keep me just barely at an even keel. I do admit that I don’t miss Bickley at all though. heh heh 🙂

  2. By Showme4570 on Jul 18, 2012 | Reply

    OK, just one more. How about the power ranking. We only play 5 teams this year with a power ranking lower than ours. WASUP Darren?

    I am so looking forward to this season. I am going to bet on our team to make the playoffs and I don’t gamble.

    1. W – 2. W – 3. W – 4. W – 5. W 6. W 7. W 8. W (@Home 9. Toss Up (I can’t predict a loss. Just a character flaw) 10. rest with a 7-2 11. Toss Up 12. W 13. Toss Up 14. W 15. W @ Home. red sea 12th player 16. W red sea again 17. W (Just because I don’t think the niner whiners can repeat last year and we will have all the confidence we deserve. Whiz is a Whizard. He knows when to hold em and knows when to fold em. Rays Plays will keep us in every game if not win two of them outright. The New England game will prove that and shock and awe will follow us to the SB. I predicted the Cards and Steelers Super Bowl. and I feel just as sure about us this year. Kolb is going to dissapoint a lot of people when he goes lights out this year. Our management knows more about him than the nay sayers. If I am wrong we have a young Terry Bradshaw to come back in with Skelton. I don’t hear anyone else seeing that similarity, but you should go back to Terrys first two or three seasons with the Steelers. I have always hated the Cowboys so I naturally rooted for the Steelers. Skelton has some of the same issues that Terry did when he started,.I think Terry has four SB rings now?? Thanks for letting me blow off steam over these ratings at CNN Darren. I’ll try to put a lid on it now.

  3. By zbot on Jul 18, 2012 | Reply

    @showme; I commend your hatred of the cowboys.

    The cards are a much better team than most anyone associated with the nfl is willing to admit. Maybe it has something to do with location…I dunno.

    As i did last year, I’m betting on Skelton to have improved. If he can be “Fourth quarter Skelton” out of the gate than the cards have absolutely no worries. If Kolb starts…I hope he plays out of his mind and goes on to have a hall of fame type run, but when they both have their feet under them and are playing a well(this includes Kolb’s time in philly) Skelton looks better for being much rougher. to me anyways.

  4. By Showme4570 on Jul 18, 2012 | Reply

    OK, Here we go again Darren. This ranking was posted today.

    Christian Petersen/Getty Images
    Two things scare me the most about the Arizona Cardinals: their quarterback and offensive line play. They essentially did nothing to upgrade the offensive line, and Kevin Kolb’s contract gives him the first shot as the starter for at least one more year.

    It would have been nice if they landed Peyton Manning, but it looks like John Skelton will have to be the guy. It’s doubtful Kolb lasts all season behind a poor offensive line.

    Arizona is fortunate enough to have a couple of back-to-back home stands—one early in the season and one towards the end. The second half of the season looks to feature the possibility of only one cold-weather game, but Weeks 15 (Lions), 16 (Bears) and 17 (49ers) will be a tough way to finish out the season.

    Record: 6-10

  5. By Scott H on Jul 18, 2012 | Reply

    Nothing new. Let others under-estimate us and not see us coming. Let us stay under the radar. It’s more fun that way when, suddenly, there we are and everyone is asking “Wait…where did they come from???” It sure was fun in 2008. The Cardinals could be that kind of team again in 2012.

  6. By brad oneill on Jul 19, 2012 | Reply

    darrel washington should be ahead of peterson. Sure peterson was a special teams phenom with his punt returns but Darrel played his regular position with mastery explosiveness and had the opposition a bit off balance. Peterson got worked by veteran quarterbacks. I realize he has amazing talent and deserves High praise its just that he was not as good a corner as washington was as a linebacker in my never humble opinion. 107 tackles 5 sacks 2 interceptions. for washington

    2 interceptions 13 passes defended is very respectable for Peterson I mean Nnamdi Asomugha only had 3 interceptions and 5 passes defended. (of course he wasnt tested quite as much)

    karlos dansby had 109 tackles 1 sack 1 interceptions when he played washingtons position and he got a huge payday when he left. 🙂

  7. By William Barry on Jul 19, 2012 | Reply

    There are certainly several things to look at this season, our QB play, our line play, and our defense. We definitely have improved, with a good draft, and solid players coming back this year, along with a stable coaching staff, with only minor changes. Stability is what builds a “winner, in town”, as Buddy Ryan used to say. So the rating say we are 17th and 18th in the NFL, let us just play under the radar, and we will surprise this year. The Niners will definitely not repeat like they did last year, and the Seahawks will be worse this year. I don’t see the Rams making great strides this year, although they could improve, with Fisher as Coach. The schedule favors us this year, at the end of the year. 11-5 or 12-4 is certainly attainable. GO CARDS!!!!! the strength of schedule this year is: (per Lindy Pro Football Magazine)

    Ariz: .512
    St. Louis .523
    SF .488
    Seattle .504

    San Fran has a really tough opening schedule, and Seattle plays GB and Dallas in their opening schedule, and the Rams have a really tough ending schedule. This is our year to surprise.

  8. By AzDesertRat1953 on Jul 20, 2012 | Reply

    I agree, the Cards are always getting the wrong end of the stick, when it comes to who’s going to be the best, who’s going to the playoffs, how many teams have a chance at the SB, and not once are the Cards mentioned. Not counting 08, but even then the talk was not fair.

    These young players and the older players are playing, talking and acting like a team that can play and have fun doing it, that is scary. Just watch Whizs’ face when he talks about this team, he looks and acts like he Knows he has something special. The Film on Fleming; Whiz loves the fact that Fleming and Floyd are against each other in practice, and gets a Big grin on his face when asked how hard is it to get a player with all the skills this kid Fleming has. I think he knows what this team could do in the nfl for the next seven to ten years, or more if they can keep getting the good draft picks they have been getting.

    I must say though I Will Miss watching the CowBoys leaving UoP with heads hung low because the Cards beat there, Butts!!!

    GO CARDS!!!

  9. By Showme4570 on Jul 21, 2012 | Reply


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