Rick Scuteri/Associated Press
Starters: Patrick Peterson, Deone Bucannon (rookie), Rashad Johnson, Antonio Cromartie
Key Contributors: Tyrann Mathieu, Tony Jefferson, Jerraud Powers, Justin Bethel, Curtis Taylor
The Arizona Cardinals have hit on draft picks in the secondary and are now beefing up the corps with free agents like Antonio Cromartie. The result just might be a top-five secondary.
Depending on whom you ask, Patrick Peterson might be the best cornerback in the NFL—he certainly thinks he is. Regardless of his ranking, Peterson is one of the better man-to-man cornerbacks in the game and is a legitimate threat against any wide receiver.
Peterson is the highlight of the group, but rookie Tyrann Mathieu may have actually been the better player last year. Lining up at free safety, Mathieu was a ball hawk and a star in coverage. He won't start the season on time due to injury, but once back he should be the difference-maker here.
Mathieu was the big addition last year, but the front office went after Antonio Cromartie in free agency and hopes he can be a true No. 2 boundary corner to offset Peterson. Bruce Arians is also hopeful that rookie strong safety Deone Bucannon can have a big impact.
The depth here is solid, too, as Tony Jefferson is a very promising young player in his second season and Jerraud Powers has mid-level starting ability.