Considering cornerback depth

Posted by Darren Urban on April 4, 2016 – 2:21 pm

With free agent Jerraud Powers visiting the Giants last week (and the increasing reality that he is likely to move on), it underscores the shift at cornerback the Cardinals are going through this offseason. Drafting a cornerback at some point seems inevitable, although you never know how the draft will fall. As it stands, Justin Bethel — he of the 2015 contract extension — is in line to start across from all-pro Patrick Peterson. Tyrann Mathieu, once he returns to health, is a candidate to play the slot if needed too, especially since the Cardinals have Tyvon Branch and Tony Jefferson — assuming he signs his tender — at safety.

(Powers tweeted he isn’t in a rush while looking for the right situation.)

Beyond Peterson and Bethel, the cornerbacks on the roster include a couple with some experience (Asa Jackson, Shawn Prater), a couple who were on the practice squad last season (Cariel Brooks, Kevin White and Carrington Byndom), and one giant unknown in Aussie Joel Wilkinson. Not exactly the depth the Cards would like, which is why they visited with veteran free agent Leon Hall — who remains unsigned —  earlier this month.

There could be a good cornerback sitting there at 29th overall and that will be tempting as a draft pick. And even if the roster stays status quo through the draft, finding another vet at some point before training camp wouldn’t be a surprise. We’ll see how the market plays out.


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17 Responses to “Considering cornerback depth”

  1. By georgiebird on Apr 4, 2016 | Reply

    It’s disappointing that Bethel hasn’t been able to make the most of his opportunity. Bethel has the tools but he may max out as an all-pro special teamer. Strange that the Cards would have extended him with the hope he could be more.

  2. By D on Apr 4, 2016 | Reply

    Hence the obstacle with a Honey Badger extension. I could see where Mr. Mathieu is seeing the need from the Cards to play him more in the slot, aka a cornerback role more than at free safety where the Cards, for this year, have depth at both Safety positions.

    The draft will be a decision from the brain trust. If they stay at #29, they will have an option of the 5th or 6th best CB available versus the 1st or 2nd best Center in the draft. My guess is unless a player drops down to #29 that AZ couldn’t pass up, Mr. Keim will try like heck to move back 8-10 spots to add an additional draft pick and should still be able to draft a N. Martin C, Notre Dame (2nd ranked Center) or a S. Calhoun OLB. (can never have enough pass rushers)

  3. By Don on Apr 4, 2016 | Reply

    Darren. Are you surprised they let Powers go before making sure they had what they want at CB?

  4. By Darren Urban on Apr 4, 2016 | Reply

    Don —

    RE: Powers

    Well, to begin, they haven’t yet let him go. Until Powers signs elsewhere, I’d guess that door isn’t completely closed.

    But in the end, it has to do with value. What they Cards value that player, and how the player values himself. Sometimes, they don’t match.

  5. By Dr. G. on Apr 4, 2016 | Reply

    Little concern here…Bethel was basically a rookie in his transition to Corner in 2015…his OJT should translate much better this year. His speed and athletic ability didn’t need the same skill set to be a “just go get that guy” gunner. His instincts should be improved this year. We do not need another CB pick; we just need to develop the crew we have…. I’d like also to see PP eliminate some of the costly errors in 2016….

  6. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 4, 2016 | Reply



    I totally agree with you on this issue. For the last 4 years, we have heard that Bethel’s talent was comparable to Peterson. Yet, he never was able to win the spot. He finally gets his chance last year, and he looked like a back up.

    Big contract (3 year, 15 million with 9 million guaranteed) .

    Like to see him compete against a rookie and a vet. Hopefully we will see a signing of a vet after the draft and hopefully, a CB in the draft.

  7. By Grandpa Black on Apr 4, 2016 | Reply

    I hope we get a stud LB at #29. We’ve never had that LB that was a superstar. Well we did and that’s all I got to say about that.

  8. By CreditCard on Apr 4, 2016 | Reply

    I will restate the obvious:

    Cornerback’s best friend is a ferocious pass rush w/o having to blitz to achieve the ferocious pass rush.

    The addition of Chandler Jones and the development of Marcus Golden, plus good pressure up the middle by Campbell, Stinson, Gunter, Peters, Rucker, X Williams, Bryant, and/or Mauro helps immensely (ask the Broncos about Wolfe and Williams role in their pass rush).

    I also see Kareem Martin and Okafor playing pivotal back-up roles in the OLB position. Curious to see if Wegenmann will bounce back from injury and make a contribution to the club.

  9. By trees786 on Apr 4, 2016 | Reply

    Bethel was often times in the right place to make plays but seemed to lack the instinct to make a play on the ball. I don’t know how many times on third down like clock work it would be thrown to bethels man for a 1st down. I’m rooting for him but I just don’t see him as a starting corner. I hope he proves me wrong but he hasn’t as of yet. His teammates rant and rave about his ability. Maybe he shows something in practice that he doesn’t in games yet.

  10. By Eazy E on Apr 5, 2016 | Reply

    Add a vet like Leon or somebody like that, and a draft pick like Mackensie!

  11. By Big Ken on Apr 5, 2016 | Reply

    Darren, Any talk of who will take over as the teams long snapper?

  12. By Darren Urban on Apr 5, 2016 | Reply

    Big Ken —

    RE: Long snapper

    Not yet.

  13. By sbrown on Apr 5, 2016 | Reply

    defensive players in this years Draft, IMO, should give the Cards a chance to draft both a corner and a safety, along with a LB with three of their six picks.

    only when “on the clock” will we see what is available at #29.

    I’m still looking at the pick at #29 could be the best center on the board, someone to plug in the O-line for the next 8 – 10 years.

  14. By Luke4710 on Apr 5, 2016 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    I personally think the cards should pick up Michael Jordan in the 4-5 round.
    He is a D2 corner and did the bets job guarding John Brown in college of all the corners that tried him (4 catches for 48 yards). What are your thoughts on the cards draft, cb needs, and more specifically Michael Jordan?

  15. By Darren Urban on Apr 6, 2016 | Reply

    Luke4710 —

    RE: Jordan

    Not sure he lasts that long, number one. Once you start talking about that deep in the draft, it’s so hard to know what the options might be at that point — and who you’d need depending on the picks you already had.

  16. By DTL on Apr 5, 2016 | Reply

    Still early, Keim on time. Powers said he hasnt been offered by Cards, doesn’t mean they wont resign for minimum if they can. Corey White in limited play looked a matador. Wonder if Bethel has the psychological makeup of a CB, will know soon. In the end, we’ll be fine, no doubts. maybe the Aussie can ball? Wouldn’t bet against. Trying to keep mind busy until draft, but a lot of good stuff ahead, no? Larry Fitz stoked, that we can tell.

  17. By red2616 on Apr 5, 2016 | Reply

    Powers is a “power play”. Sorry for poor words. But he signs with someone for outrageous $$ and we get 1 or more complex pick next year. If he isn’t or offered LOW money, then the Cards match. Cards throwing an offer out 1st is dumb. Cards won’t offer anything until another team offers 1st. Al other teams know they would have to way over pay to get him. It’s perfect position for Cards. Powers won’t make that much less when all said and done.

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