Patrick Peterson: “J.J. Nelson’s going to have a great year”

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With the offseason hay in the barn, it’s time to find out which young players popped in the now-completed OTA sessions. Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, appearing on Wednesday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, was asked to provide a name of a player whom he thinks is poised to break out.

“I got two of them,” Peterson said. “I believe [receiver] J.J. Nelson’s going to have a great year. He had a great, great spring, showed some flashes. I can’t wait to see what he’s going do here if he can keep that momentum going into summer camp because I’ve seen it happen a number of times.”

What Peterson has seen is that, with the application of pressure and attention, players who were showing promise failed to fulfill it.

“Guys have great springs but once they get in front of a couple of fans and the crowd, the lights come on, you get a different player,” Peterson said. “So J.J. is definitely one of them that had a great spring.”

Nelson did well as a rookie, in limited duty. Appearing in 11 games, he had 11 catches for 299 yards (a 27.2-yard average per reception) and two touchdowns.

Peterson’s other player to watch in 2016 could be covering Nelson in practice, plenty.

“[Cornerback] Brandon Williams, the third-round draft pick, he’s looking pretty good,” Peterson said. “He’s another one that I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do under the lights because that’s when it really, really counts, you know? Coach [Arians] always talks about it throughout April and June, ‘This is soccer practice, this is just shorts and helmets. Everybody can look good in shorts and a T-shirt.’ You can get a guy off the street that looks good in shorts and T-shirts, it’s all about when the lights come on and the Star-Spangled Banner begins to be sang.”

For the Cardinals, the lights will be on and the national anthem will be blaring on the first Sunday night of the season, against the team that wears red, white, and blue. If Nelson and Williams can perform at a high level in that game and the 15 that follow, the Cardinals can get to the Super Bowl and maybe win it.

13 responses to “Patrick Peterson: “J.J. Nelson’s going to have a great year”

  1. Fastest player in the NFL. It took him six weeks to learn how to run the correct routes, and then they started to use him. He is going to be deadly this year.

    TY Hilton 2.0

  2. williams beat Fitz on one play in practice, so theres definitely signs of talent. Of course, he did get beat other times too, so it will depend on how much work he puts in. As for Nelson, there isnt a single corner in the league that can run with him stride for he just needs to learn all the routes and become a complete receiver. GO CARDS!

  3. After watching the ARI-CAR Playoff game again, if the Cards only have a 5 man O Line, the Patriots will blitz Palmer like The Panthers did. If you send out 4 WRs with no more blocking, Palmer will get killed. Belichek saw the game and will blitz constantly.

  4. J.J. Nelson is going to have a nice role in the offense. Very fast and can catch. He will have plenty of field to operate in. He is also going to be able and come in when AZ runs some 3WR sets although he is the 4th guy on the chart. With Fitz, Floyd and Smokey Brown he will have his opportunities to get down field on single coverasge. Although he did not have many catches (simply because of the top 3 guys) he did average 27 YPC last season. He will be someone teams will have to keep an eye on when AZ runs some play action. Go Red Birds

  5. You have to respect RBs David Johnson, Chris Johnson, and even Ellington in the running and also passing game, especially with new top run blocking guard Evan Mathis added to the mix of what was already a strong running Oline.

    Then you have to respect the hands of Fitz and the TEs on short to mid-range, the ability to snatch them out of the air on the sidelines mid-range to long of Floyd, and Smokey Brown is one of the shiftiest and fastest deep threats in the NFL. If even faster Nelson is significantly added to the playbook, the whole field is constantly dangerous, especially with Bruce Arians “no risk it no biscuit” attitude on play calls. The guy will call for a deep bomb on 3rd and 2. And Palmer can make all the throws.

  6. After watching the ARI-CAR Playoff game again, if the Cards only have a 5 man O Line, the Patriots will blitz Palmer like The Panthers did. If you send out 4 WRs with no more blocking, Palmer will get killed. Belichek saw the game and will blitz constantly.
    AZ has a top 5 Elite NFL O-Line. AZ had a very good offensive line last year but Carolina exposed the weak spot of the line which was the right side, and they were able to get a ton of pressure on Palmer and hit/pressure/sack him all game long. That isn’t going to happen this year as AZ has vastly upgraded the right side of their offensive line signing Elite All-Pro RG Evan Mathis , who man handled DT Kawann SHort in the SB , and Short was the guy who gave AZ all the trouble in the NFC-CG.. Pairing Mathis with 5X Pro Bowl/3x All-Pro LG Mike Iupati gives AZ two of the top 5 ranked Elite OGs in the NFL and 2 of the top 3 ranked run blocking OGs, future LT & 1st round pick DJ Humphries has developed into a beast and will broken in on the right side and then you have Elite LT Jared Veldheer at LT, who PFF has ranked a top OT both seasons in AZ. If you protect Carson Palmer , he surgically pick apart any defense in the NFL and AZ is more than capable of handling any defensive front in the NFL Next Year.

  7. JJ Nelson is a lethal deep threat , now that he knows the offense thru and thru allowing him to play fast and utilize his world class 4.25 40 speed to the fullest , this guy is going to be an absolute BEAST In 16!!!!

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