Markus Golden is having a fantastic season, even if he doesn’t get as much attention as he should.
If asked about the Arizona Cardinals defense, most fans will name guys like Patrick Peterson, Chandler Jones, or Calais Campbell. Those guys have the big names, and deservedly so, so their names are instantly recognizable. Markus Golden is a name that many casual fans of the NFL might not now, but if his play this season is any indicator, that will change.
Though many draft analysts didn’t project him to be a high pick, or an impact pass rusher. The concerns mostly centered on his lack of athleticism and pass rush moves. The Cardinals saw it differently, though, and selected him in the second round. They haven’t been disappointed.
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Golden earned plenty of playing time as a rookie, even starting six games, and showed flashes of what he could do, notching four sacks and two forced fumbles. In 2016 he’s been even better. In the 12 games he’s played in this season, he has seven sacks and two forced fumbles, along with a fumble recovery. His sack total puts him just one behind Jones, who leads the team. His play has gotten notice, and many have mentioned him as a potential Pro Bowler.
The future looks extremely bright for both for the Cardinals defense, and for Markus Golden individually. He continues to get better, and it’s showing on the field, where offenses are now having to find, and account for him on every play. If his play continues to develop, it won’t be long before he’s mentioned with Jones, Peterson, and Campbell as a lead of the Cardinals defense. He’s an underrated player who is quietly making a big difference for his team this season.