Arizona Cardinals: Most disappointing, surprising
February 13, 2018
By STATS LLC Editorial
MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: The Cardinals were willing to let veteran Calais Campbell leave via free agency primarily because they thought they had found his replacement in 2016 first-round draft pick Robert Nkemdiche. Instead, the big defensive tackle failed to live up to expectations for a second straight year. He finished 2017 with just 12 total tackles and still has yet to register his first NFL sack. Nkemdiche shows flashes of brilliance, but still relies too much on sheer physical traits and not nearly enough technique, which could become his downfall.
MOST SURPRISING PLAYER: Although he didn't join the starting lineup until Week 10 - and only because of a season-ending knee injury to veteran Tyvon Branch - rookie Budda Baker absolutely soared with increased playing time. The second-round pick out of Washington took over at strong safety and finished sixth on the team in tackles (61), forced two fumbles and had a sack. He also was named to the Pro Bowl as the NFC's special teams ace after ranking among NFL leaders with 16 tackles on special teams.
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