TEMPE Ariz — In last weeks NFL Draft the Arizo

first_imgTEMPE, Ariz. — In last week’s NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals added one offensive lineman, one defensive lineman, two linebackers, a receiver, a running back and a tight end. One position many thought they would address was cornerback since 2014 starter Antonio Cromartie left to sign with the New York Jets in free agency, leaving Arizona with Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers and Justin Bethel as the only corners on the roster with significant experience, with Bethel’s mostly coming on special teams. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires But without Cromartie, it’s likely Bethel — a fourth-year pro who has been to the Pro Bowl twice for his work on special teams — will be asked not only to step in, but to step up as well.In January, before Cromartie left for the Jets, Bethel said his plan is to progress as a defensive back and return to the NFL’s All-Star game for his work at that position.While no one is expecting him to reach the Pro Bowl, it’s clear the Cardinals are counting on him to be an impact player in more areas than just special teams. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   Over the course of the three-day event the Cardinals were on the clock seven times, and seven times they declined to address the position.Since then, the Cardinals did add a pair of cornerbacks as undrafted free agents, bringing Adams State’s Cariel Brooks from Adams State and Colorado State-Pueblo’s C.J. Roberts into the mix. Then, Wednesday afternoon, they claimed Alfonzo Dennard off waivers from the New England Patriots.But the message sent by the team not spending one of its draft picks on a cornerback was clear. “Well corner, we’re extremely comfortable,” head coach Bruce Arians said after the draft. “Jerraud Powers played as well, maybe better than Cro the year before. Cro played very well for us last year and allowed us to play JP inside, but I’ve got all the confidence in the world.“I think Justin Bethel is ready to break out and allow JP to go back inside when we go into the nickel. We have so much flexibility there.”Last season Arizona ranked 29th in the NFL against the pass, allowing an average of 260 yards per game. However, they allowed an average QB rating of 86.0, which ranked 11th, and the 22 touchdowns allowed through the air tied them sixth-best in the NFL. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more