Cardinals Player Spotlight
CB Zaire Nelson
A day before the draft the front office decided to make a bombshell trade to move up in hopes of landing Zaire Nelson. The Cornerback out of USC was the fastest man in the draft running in the low 4.3s. At 6 foot flat he has a rare combination of size and speed that you don’t find often. So much so we gave up Brian Burns, 31st overall, and former 1st round pick Eugene Hepburn just for a chance at the young man and we got him!
Zaire Nelson was not always this coveted of a talent. Nelson was late to start his football career with his first season as a senior in high school. He’s been a track star his whole life but found his way to football through friends that thought he had some great potential. With only a year of highlights he didn’t receive any D1 offers and opted to walk on at USC.
The rest is history. He made the team purely off his size and speed. The coaching staff redshirted him freshman year and he began to quickly improve his technique and coverage skills. His redshirt sophomore year was his true breakout year where he was a PFF monster. He opted to enter the draft at 22 years old in a stacked cornerback class consisting of Lincoln Chaney, Jamichael Flemons, and Marc McAllister.
Of the 4 he is arguably the best but saw the Bills and 49ers both pass on him for Chaney and Flemons. His star potential and 97 speed gives him a chance to become one of the best cornerbacks in the XCFL. He’ll look to make the 49ers pay for passing on his talents for years to come.