Pair of Arizona Cardinals rookies make list of expected ‘instant-impact’ rookies from notable NFL expert

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A notable NFL personnel expert explains why he believes the Arizona Cardinals have a pair of rookies primed to make a huge impact on their new team in 2024.

Expectations were fairly low for the Arizona Cardinals heading into last season. Starting quarterback Kyler Murray was going to miss at least the first half of the season and they did not make any notable additions in the offseason. That is why their 4-13 record to end the campaign was unsurprising, but their last-place finish is also misleading.

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The roster and Murray showed some positive signs late in the season under the guidance of first-time head coach Jonathan Gannon and it has given Cards fans reason to believe they can have a bounce-back season this year. That belief for positive days ahead was bolstered by some high-upside selections in April’s NFL Draft and one draft expert believes the team may have hit a homerun with two specific players.

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In a column on 11 players set to make instant impacts in their rookie seasons, NFL.com draft expert Chad Reuter had not one, but two Arizona Cardinals prospects on his list. Unsurprisingly, fourth overall pick Marvin Harrison Jr. due to his ability to make life easier not just for Murray, but the rest of the backfield as well.

“In a pivotal season for Kyler Murray, he’ll need to lean on Harrison early and often. Not every catch will be a big downfield play — the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Marvin Harrison will also make third-down grabs over the middle and on the sideline to keep the chains moving,” Reuter wrote. “While it won’t show up on the stat sheet, Harrison’s presence could also open space for running backs Trey Benson and James Conner, as well as the Cardinals’ other receivers.”

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The NFL Draft expert also suggested the aforementioned Benson, a third-round pick in April, can be just as impactful in his inaugural season as 2023 first-round pick Bijan Robinson was in helping to create a dynamic two-man backfield with the Atlanta Falcons.

“Cardinals RB James Conner ran for 1,000-plus yards last year for the first time in his career, but remember how productive Bijan Robinson was for the Falcons as a rookie in 2023 after his Falcons teammate Tyler Allgeier had a 1,000-yard season in 2022?” he wrote. “I think we could see a similar situation play out in Arizona, with Benson’s explosiveness in the open field resulting in big plays.”

Arizona Cardinals 2024 Training Camp opens on July 23.

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