The Arizona Cardinals had a top defense for the first half of last season before injuries took their toll. They had Pro Bowlers in Chandler Jones and Budda Baker, and they had the big name in J.J. Watt.
But one player that doesn’t get enough attention is safety Jalen Thompson, who is one of the team’s best defensive players. He played at a Pro Bowl level last season with his 121 tackles, three interceptions and seven pass breakups.
One would think that he would be mentioned as one of the league’s most underrated players, but no. In Doug Farrar’s list of the most underrated defensive players in the NFL right now, no Cardinals player is mentioned — not even Thompson.
At safety, instead of Thompson, he includes Buffalo’s Jordan Poyer, who was an All-Pro last season, and, by definition, not underrated, and Tampa Bay’s Antoine Winfield Jr. Winfield was a Pro Bowler last season, so also not underrated.
Thompson was not considered for either.
He and Baker make arguably the best safety tandem in the league. Thompson hits hard, is a sure tackler, which makes game-changing plays only large gains.
He can catch the ball and cover.
Among the so-called underrated players, Thompson is even more underrated.