The Arizona Cardinals haven’t been relevant in the NFL since Bruce Arians “retired” a couple of years back from health issues. Steve Wilks was hired in 2018 and made it just one season after finishing 3-13. The Cardinals traded Josh Rosen just one year after spending a first round pick on him and used the number one pick on Kyler Murray after hiring Kliff Kingsbury. It was clear that Arizona wanted to take a modern approach to the future of their offense.
Although the Cardinals weren’t stacking up wins in 2019, they didn’t shy away from building towards a future where they could. Before the trade this year getting rid of dead weight in David Johnson in exchange for DeAndre Hopkins, they sent a 6th round pick for Kenyan Drake.
Mere days after being traded from the Miami Dolphins, Kenyan Drake took the field and tore it up for the Arizona Cardinals at home against the San Francisco 49ers. Drake had 110 yards on 15 carries and also caught 4 passes for 52 yards. It also included a 36 yard run. As a Cardinal, Drake had at least 4 runs over 20 yards, including an 80 yard BURNER against the Seattle Seahawks in week 16.
The sample size is small, but after Drake was traded to the Cardinals, he was the RB4 in PPR scoring for the rest of the season. Drake finally got an opportunity to show the big play ability that Miami drafted him for from Alabama. We already knew that Drake could be a factor in the passing game, but the ability that he was able to show in spurts in the running game was also very encouraging. Miami never had a good offensive line to help accelerate Drake’s ascension and it’s not like Arizona had a great line either. In fact, the Cardinals had the 4th worst rushing offensive line in 2019. But, the Cardinals’ offensive line was actually an improvement from 2018. A part of Kenyan Drake’s success in Arizona had to be play calling as well. I could be biased due to being a Kliff Kingsbury fan.
Kenyan Drake is currently going in the 5th round and I think there is some good value there at this point. I have taken him as early as the 4th round in my early season drafts. I think there is a possibility that the Cardinals draft a running back later in the draft, but I doubt that they will reach for one. There are too many holes in the roster to address if they want to compete and with Drake in place for 2020, there is no need to pay up when it can be used elsewhere. Kenyan Drake probably won’t be a bell cow back, rarely is there a situation that somebody is anymore. I think that Chase Edmonds could get some decent run too and he could end up being a top priority handcuff when draft season comes around. In conclusion, I’ll be gunning for a lot of Kenyan Drake this summer. I believe the Cardinals will move the ball pretty well in Kyler Murray’s second season and Drake’s skill set will continue to be beneficial.