Cardinal NFL Free Agent Signings & Breakdowns

The NFL draft has wrapped up over the past weekend with surprisingly only 2 Cards being taken, but with that being said, players who weren’t drafted go on to contribute fairly often. The first step is landing on a team that has snaps available at the position and also primarily uses a scheme that fits the undrafted players’ strengths. Now, let’s take a look into how each former Cardinal fits onto their new team!

Jared Goldwire: LA Chargers

Another Cardinal whose chances I feel pretty good about to at least stick on the practice squad, Jared Goldwire has found a pretty good fit with the Los Angeles Chargers if he does manage to stick. Goldwire’s best chance to make the 53 man roster, in my opinion, is show that he can come in on 3rd down and obvious passing downs and provide real pressure up the middle with his rare blend of size and speed (6’5 300 ILBs and ran a 4.9 40). With the Chargers having some of the best pass rushing talent in the league, Goldwire wouldn’t really have to worry about double teams on the inside, so if he is able to win consistently in his 1 on 1 matchups, I definitely see him carving out a role as Linval Joseph’s backup at NT. I also could see him being utilized a lot on special teams units to try to block field goals due to his length!

Marlon Character Jr: Kansas City Chiefs

This is the first player mentioned who actually will be playing in a brand new system from what they played last year with the Cards, but with that being said, I can still see why the Chiefs like Marlon and where he fits on their defense. The Chiefs run more dime package than any team in the league and that’s where I’ve always believed Character Jr would excel in the pros if he was able to carve a career out for himself. His toughness, physicality, and athleticism make him a weapon in dime packages due to his ability to get up in the box and be effective against the run but also be able to stay with TEs and WRs in the slot. I’m not entirely sure what his chances are of making the team, but I do see where he could be utilized in a lot of the same ways they used Tyrann Mathieu last year and with that type of rare versatility, he could carve out a role as a reserve or practice squad player that the Chiefs continue to groom in hopes he could see snaps in the future.

Dorian Etheridge: Atlanta Falcons

Etheridge is actually going to a better scheme fit for his style of play with the Falcons as they run a 4-3 defense. Also, as far as depth goes, they could really use a MLB with a ton of starting experience and a wealth of knowledge for an NFL rookie. Dorian is a natural leader, relentlessly attacks the line of scrimmage, and has constantly faced and overcame adversity throughout his time at UL. The Falcons defense could really use some change as far as their personality and culture, and Dorian might not be the most talented player, but he can definitely help shift that mentality in the locker room and absolutely bring it on special teams. The only thing that I see holding him back is his ability in pass coverage. That may cause him to be seen as a liability because of how much the NFL has changed in the past decade, but there is still a role on teams for guys with heart, leadership ability, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to win. I would not be surprised at all to see Dorian as a top special teamer one day! 

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