The Facts: Drake said last month that he think the Cardinals will “be a nuisance for everybody in the NFC West” and he’s thinking even bigger this month. Drake made an appearance on NFL Network Thursday and said that he saw a big difference between last year’s team and this one. He said there was “just so much inexperience” on last season’s roster, but returning players now have a year with Kliff Kingsbury under their belts. Add that to the additions from outside this offseason and it’s enough for Drake to buy into the notion that the Cardinals are set to make a jump after going 5-10-1 last season. "I feel like we’re going to go out there and really take the league by storm, especially our division," Drake said.
Diehards Line:Drake added: “I feel like the hype is warranted, to be honest. When you add arguably the best receiver in the league in DeAndre Hopkins, the most electric quarterback in the league in Kyler Murray, you add me to the fold, you add a couple more pieces to the O-line, on defense, you draft a [Swiss Army] knife in Isaiah Simmons, shore up the D-line and bring in other people to build a great puzzle. ... [That’s] what we have in Arizona." They also have a lot of speed. Murray won Offensive Rookie of the Year by using his rare talents to post a completion percentage of 64.4, a 20-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a passer rating of 87.4. His 62 rushes in which he reached 15-plus mph were the most in the NFL (minimum 50 rushes), according to NextGen Stats. Drake's top-end speed that made him a coveted recruit at Alabama shined once he was traded from Miami to Arizona last season. Drake reached 15-plus mph on 26.8 percent of his rushes with the Cardinals, as opposed to hitting that speed threshold on just 14.9 percent of his carries with the Dolphins in the same season. His 33 rushes of 15-plus mph were the second-most in the entire NFL from Weeks 9-17 in 2019. As PFT notes, every year sees teams coming off of losing records generate buzz that positions them as a playoff contender in the offseason. Last year’s Browns are a reminder that things don’t always play out as hoped and the Cardinals are next up for a shot at meeting raised expectations. But Drake isn't wrong; the pieces are definitely in place.