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Arizona Cardinals Player Analysis: Kevin Minter

January 9th, 2014 at 1:01 PM
By Steve Smith

'San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals, September 13, 2009' photo (c) 2009, Michael Wifall - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Arizona Cardinals rookie linebacker Kevin Minter did not make much of an impact in his first season in the desert.

The LSU product appeared in 13 games in 2013 and made just four tackles, mostly on special teams. The Red Birds still like his potential though as he heads into his second season.

Let's take an updated look at his player analysis via our friends at nfl.com:

Strengths: Played sparingly in rookie NFL season. Attacks blocks with extension and hand use. Very good feel in traffic, subtle moves to weave through bodies and recognize run, gets to the ball carrier before teammates despite starting from the opposite side of the formation. Not afraid to make contact with lead blocker between the tackles, keeps outside arm free to scrape off to running back. Takes very good angles and lines. Stops momentum of blockers, rolls into them with an anchor to not lose ground. Finishes off tackles very well. Fights as a blitzer, good motor, attempts to run through or get around contact. Sniffs out screens. When the play is visibly in front of him, the click and close can happen very quickly. Looks very comfortable when using hands to work through blockers. Has just enough speed to undercut blocks and make tackles for loss. Remained on the field in nickel packages.

Weaknesses: Occasionally overruns misdirection and draw plays, gives up inside shoulder. Lacks desirable range in coverage because of lost ground when forced to open up hips, turn, and run. Fast enough in a straight line, but lateral speed may be questionable. Despite good angles, likely won't win a foot race to the edge. Too flat footed on play action and misdirection, but at least that prohibits wasted steps. Does not show the quickness to get to screen as or soon after the ball arrives despite seeing it early on. Sees pass and reacts to it in coverage, but doesn't move any sooner.

NFL Comparison: Takeo Spikes, Linebacker

Bottom Line: Solid potential all around. Some evaluators may have a concern with his lateral speed since Minter seemed to reach running backs with just enough time to spare, not to mention his tendency to lose ground when forced to open his hips and drop in coverage. Looks like a keeper.

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Tags: Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, Football, Kevin Minter, NFL

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