Camp Look: Maxx Williams Putting Tight Ends on His Back

Howard Balzer

Sixth in a series of Cardinals unit analysis as on-field training camp work approaches, following special teams, defensive backs, linebackers, defensive line and offensive line.

TIGHT END

Projected starter: Maxx Williams

Solid backups: Dan Arnold

Intriguing: Dylan Cantrell

On the bubble: Darrell Daniels, Ryan Becker

In an offense that features high producing players like quarterback Kyler Murray, running back Kenyan Drake and wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk, anyone would be forgiven for not paying much attention to the tight end position.

However, while the current group likely won’t be contending for any spots in the Pro Bowl (if the game is even played), it might be a mistake to overlook them completely.

Naturally, head coach Kliff Kingsbury would probably like that to happen, especially as defensive coordinators focus on the obvious.

After all, in the halcyon days of the Rams’ Greatest Show on Turf 1999 season — while defenses were gearing up to stop running back Marshall Faulk, wide receivers Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt and Az-Zahir Hakim — tight ends Roland Williams and Jeff Robinson, who was mainly the team’s long snapper, managed to score eight of the team’s 42 passing touchdowns.

For the Cardinals in 2019, Williams started 10 games and played 46.5 percent of the snaps. A solid blocker, he had just 15 receptions for a 13.5-yard average and one touchdown.

Arnold could be a wild card. He joined the team on waivers from New Orleans on Dec. 5 and in just five games played 104 snaps. Murray found him just six times, but those catches were good for 102 yards (17.0 average) and two touchdowns.

Cantrell is, yes, intriguing. He spent the 2019 season on reserve/injured with the Chargers as a wide receiver. However, he is a familiar face for Kingsbury, having played for him at Texas Tech, and could get the chance to be a field-stretcher at tight end.

Daniels played just 47 snaps on offense in 11 games last season, but was on the field for 219 special-teams snaps. Becker is an undrafted free agent who would be happy if he can earn a job on the practice squad.

Next up: RUNNING BACK

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Comments (1)
No. 1-1
alexweiner
alexweiner

Interesting comparison with the '99 Rams. Maxx Williams and Dan Arnold may not be the biggest standouts, but they could get sneak up on people.


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