Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said the team is “very solid” at cornerback when he spoke with azcardinals.com’s Darren Urban, citing Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers and Tyrann Mathieu, who showed playmaking ability before suffering torn knee ligaments. However, Arians raised eyebrows by identifying third-year man Justin Bethel, who made the Pro Bowl as a special teams player, as a potential breakout candidate.
“I think the guy who really should make the big move is Justin Bethel,” said Arians. “He’s as talented probably as Patrick. He just has to start believing it and play corner the way he plays special teams and we’ll really be set back there.”
A 2012 sixth-round pick out of Presbyterian, Bethel put himself on the NFL radar by earning Big South Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2011. He blocked nine kicks during his college career and showed well in the pre-draft process, recording a 39.5-inch vertical leap and 10-foot, 11-inch broad jump.