first_imgThis offseason the Cardinals added Jones via trade and defensive back Tyvon Branch in free agency, and also used their first-round draft pick on defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche.Combined with the expected development of second-year players Markus Golden and Rodney Gunter, as well as the return to health for Corey Peters, Arizona is hopeful their defense, which last season finished fifth in yards allowed and tied for seventh in points allowed, will take another step forward in 2016. For the Cardinals, the trio of CB Patrick Peterson, DE Calais Campbell and LB Chandler Jones was placed fourth overall.Pretty nifty when you can form a trio of stars and leave out Tyrann Mathieu, right? Mathieu would be in this grouping ahead of Jones based on his 2015 form, but the torn ACL he suffered in December raises questions about whether he’ll keep that up in 2016, especially since it took him a year to return to form after tearing his ACL at the end of the 2013 campaign. Mathieu may still be useful, but it’s enough to push Arizona’s new star edge rusher into the triplets combo. Jones could end up being a one-year rental, but he’s the exact sort of mid-peak pass-rusher the blitz-happy Cardinals haven’t had during Bruce Arians’ tenure.All three of Peterson, Campbell and Jones were Pro Bowlers last season, with the linebacker reaching the game for his work as a New England Patriot after collecting 12.5 sacks. Peterson intercepted two passes while generally eliminating half of the field, and Campbell tallied five sacks along with 17 tackles for loss, 13 QB pressures and 15 QB hits.Mathieu, of course, was in the conversation for the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award after collecting 89 total tackles along with five interceptions, one sack, 16 passes defensed and one forced fumble in 15 games. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 0 Comments   Share   Last week, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell took a stab at ranking the NFL’s best offensive triplets, the result of which can be found here.This week, he’s tackling the defensive side of the ball.Noting how it is more difficult to try and sort defensive triplets because talent and impact are sometimes less noticeable with linebackers and defensive linemen than they are with quarterbacks or skill position players, Barnwell gave his best shot at finding every team’s best three-man group for the 2016 season and then, from there, ranked them. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img

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