5 Arizona Cardinals Whose Stock Is Rising in OTAs

Andrew Nordmeier@@AndrewNordmeierContributor IIIMay 27, 2012

Third-round pick Jamell Fleming and the Cardinals work in OTAs in Tempe, Ariz.
Third-round pick Jamell Fleming and the Cardinals work in OTAs in Tempe, Ariz.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It may only be the another week of OTAs for the Arizona Cardinals, but they have five players whose stock is on the rise already.

Three of them suffered from injuries last season. However, the reason for their rise isn't just because they are healthy.


Cornerback Greg Toler

Toler has made a recovery from a torn ACL that he suffered last August. He participated in all drills on a limited basis. 

According to the Cardinals' website, "Toler had stayed stride-for-stride with No. 1 draft pick Michael Floyd and ripped away the ball to spoil a catch on a deep route down the field."

Despite pictures showing him with a bulky brace on his left knee, Toler looks ready to be in the mix for a starting position when training camp opens July 24.


Running Back Ryan Williams

After rupturing his patella tendon against Green Bay in the preseason and missing all of 2011, Williams seems to be recovered, as reports indicate he was running and cutting just two weeks ago. He also has been participating in positional drills as well.

Williams will be spending most of his time working on the side with trainers, but it is a very encouraging sign to see him participating at OTAs.

Keep in mind that starting running back Beanie Wells also had offseason knee surgery and Arizona didn't select any running backs in the draft. These two factors mean Williams has to be ready for the 2102 campaign, and so far it looks good.



Defensive Tackle Dan Williams 

Williams broke his arm November 20th against San Francisco and missed the remainder of the season. He had surgery on it and a pair of plates was inserted into his arm.

Since then, he's put a lot of work into his conditioning and reported for OTAs in better shape than last season. He's been building his strength back up, which is critical for his position. The Cardinals are getting back one of their better run-stoppers in Williams. If he can control his gaps, it will make the rest of the defense better as they look to improve on last year's 45 sacks.


Defensive Tackle Nick Eason

Ultimately, Eason is boosting his stock by dropping pounds. He struggled with his weight and it made him less effective last season. He was forced into starting because of injuries, but he wants to be ready this year.

Eason changed his diet and took up boxing to drop 40 pounds off his frame. The lighter Eason will help out the Cardinals' pass rush in 2012.


Right Tackle Bobby Massie

The rookie has worked with the second team in OTAs. From what they've seen, the coaching staff is impressed with Massie.

"But I tell you what, he looks the part," Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt said to the Arizona Republic. "I'm excited about that. He's a big guy (with) very good movement. I've seen him in some pass sets the past couple weeks that I've really been excited about."

The news isn't all good for the Cardinals, as tight end Jeff King suffered a partial tear of his quadriceps. The injury required surgery to repair, but King is expected to be back for the start of training camp.