Cardinals rookie J.J. Nelson hopes to put speed to good use

Arizona Cardinals rookie J.J. Wilson is one of the fastest rookies in the NFL.

Nelson Chenault/Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals rookie wide receiver J.J. Nelson is the fastest rookie in the NFL. He ran the quickest time at the NFL Scouting Combine, running a 4.28 40-yard dash. Now Nelson is working on translating that blazing fast speed into the Cardinals offense.

"He still can’t run as fast as he probably will next year, when he’s not thinking," Cardinals coach Burce Arians said, via Everything Alabama. "You kind of limit his role to where he can play fast and when he’s not thinking at all."

Nelson has been learning a lot through OTAs and minicamp, but admits that acclimating to a brand new offensive system has slowed him down quite a bit. 

"Just coming out and thinking too much, that kind of slows you down," Nelson said. "With me just knowing what I have to do really does help me play faster."

The transition for any rookie from college to the NFL is always difficult. There is a steep learning curve. Nelson is taking it day by day and trying to learn whatever he can from the veteran wide receivers on the team.

"Being in the NFL, it’s a bit different," Nelson said. "You have Mike, Larry and John. I’m just going out, learning, seeing what they do, learn how they practice and learn how they take it day by day. That’s what I’m pretty much getting into." 

Nelson is in the running to be the starting kick and punt returner for the Cardinals. Once Nelson starts to learn the ins and outs of the offense, his speed could become a difference maker for the Cardinals.

(h/t Everything Alabama)