After Kenyan Drake set a season high for yards from scrimmage last night for the Cardinals (162), whats the future of the position hold for the Cardinals?
First, lets start with this: I still don’t like the trade for the Cardinals.
Many of you tweeted and messaged me that Drake’s performance proved me wrong. To me, this isn’t about an individual performance in a losing effort, its about roster building.
I would’ve traded a game plan for a draft pick. Meaning, I would’ve been more comfortable with the short term pain of being short handed at RB than the long term miss of a potential valuable draft pick.
If the Cardinals committed the same kind of urgency and resources to fixing their OL as they have at RB, they’d likely wouldn’t be stuck with Justin Murray and Josh Miles at RT.
But I digress.
Kenyan Drake is here. David Johnson is expected back for Week 10. Chase Edmonds should be back within the next several weeks. So how does this all play out?
I’ve been critical of Steve Keim (just a bit) but even I wouldn’t believe he’d be so reckless to trade a pick for an 8 game RB rental, so let’s assume Drake has a future with the Cardinals beyond this season.
David Johnson is virtually untradeable with $10.2 guaranteed for next season and releasing him would A) be stupid and B) cause a $16+ million dollar dead cap charge.
One possible scenario is to have Edmonds and Drake function as the primary ball carries and have David Johnson transition to more of a WR role. It would take an offseason but everyone who has ever coached David Johnson agrees his natural pass catching abilities are equitable to that of an actual WR.
We know this offense is going to get the ball into the hands of its WR’s around the line of scrimmage and on jet sweeps; so what better option to have function in that role than David Johnson who has struggled hitting the hole as a runner but has been dynamic in the receiving game this season.
The Cardinals still need a dynamic outside receiving threat but combining Johnson with Christian Kirk, plus the pass catching possibilities of Edmonds/Drake and the speed of Andy Isabella has to be awfully enticing for Kliff Kingsbury.
Think of Johnson has the very rich man’s Andy Isabella at WR.
It could work but unless the Cardinals front office spends as much time and energy figuring out the offensive and defensive lines as the running back group, it probably won’t make much of an actual difference.