Relying on Youth and Experience; the 2021 Cards’ Youngest and Oldest

The Cardinals have an interesting fusion of youth and experience on this year’s team and will count on both to succeed.

Youngest:

Isaiah Simmons, Leki Fotu, Rashard Lawrence, Evan Weaver, and Jalen Thompson are all currently 22 years old but turn 23 this year.

5. CB Marco Wilson – turned 22 on March 3rd. Along with 23 year old Tay Gowan, Wilson provides much-needed youth and depth to the cornerback position and should immediately contribute on special teams.

4. RB Enotobong Benjamin – although in year two, having just turned 22, Eno’s one of the youngest players on the team. A young and hungry Eno could be the reason Keim didn’t draft a runningback this year when many thought he would.

3. MLB Zaven Collins – half of “The Trees in the Middle” the Day 1 defensive signal-caller just turned 22 on May 19th. Both playmaking MLB’s go by “Zay” for short (Isaiah and Zaven) and both are young, tall, and athletic LBs. Of course they’ll have their growing pains together, but Cardinals could have one of the nastiest young MLB-duos in the league for years to come.

2. OLB Victor Dimukeje – the rookie turns 22 in November, and should provide solid depth and special teams contribution.

1. WR Rondale Moore – the offensive weapon just turned 21 last week, making him one of the youngest players in the entire NFL. Only Kyle Pitts, Anthony Schwartz, and Brevin Jordan are younger by a month or two. Rondale will have an immediate role on offense and as a returner.

Oldest:

Andy Lee (38) and Matt Prater (36) are technically the oldest, but we’ll go non-special teams for this list (because they hardly count).

5. RT Kelvin Beachum – having just turned 32 last week, Kelvin has added veteran leadership and consistency to the offensive line and at a fairly reasonable price tag (just $1.5mil).

4. DE Justin James Watt – Keim wanted to add leadership this offseason and he immediately succeeded by adding the 32-year-old who’s seamlessly stepped in and became a leader before we’ve even hit training camp.

3. CB Robert Alford – returning on a league-minimum veteran deal, Robert felt he still had everything to prove and owed the organization that for believing in him. He’ll be 33 in November.

2. WR Adriel Jeremiah Green – turning 33 at the end of July, A.J. should add a second reliable target outside for Kyler, opposite DeAndre Hopkins.

1. QB Colt McCoy – the Cardinals wanted to add leadership and experience at the position this offseason and they got that in the 34-year-old backup. Colt has played in the league for 10 seasons, playing in 44 games total for 4 different teams (WAS, CLE, NYG, SF).

Although Arizona has one of the youngest players in the league and will be counting on young players to contribute, overall they’re one of the oldest teams with just the 49ers and Texans having a higher average age. Hopefully the Cardinals can use that experience and newly gained leadership to bring along their young players more effectively this season.

Keim and Kliff (who said he has a man-crush on Chris Paul) must be watching this year’s Suns team and hoping Watt, Hudson and Green can have a similar impact as Paul, Crowder and Craig have had for their team. Breaking a playoff drought of their own (since 2015) is a much needed step for the Cardinals in 2021.

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