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Fleming sticks out early in offseason for Cardinals

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted June 30, 2012 @ 10:45 a.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

The praise has just kept on coming for third-round rookie CB Jamell Fleming, who team sources believe probably has been the most impressive overall performer in the desert so far this offseason.

“Boy, he has just looked really good,” one source said of Fleming, a two-year starter at Oklahoma who made seven interceptions and had 24 pass breakups his final two seasons in Norman. “He’s really mature and looks like a natural. He just looks like he belongs. He appears to have picked up the defense really quick.”

We hear Fleming should be considered a long shot to start opposite 2012 first-round draft pick Patrick Peterson, as both holdover Greg Toler and newly acquired William Gay look like better bets at the other CB spot with training camp fast approaching. But Fleming's exceptional quickness and change-of-direction skills make him a likely starter not too far down the road.  

“They’re definitely intrigued by what they think he will be able to do in nickel and dime packages as a rookie,” the source said of Fleming, who is also expected to play a key role on special teams.

With former starter A.J. Jefferson, feisty vet Mike Adams and third-year pro Marshay Green also in the mix, the consensus seems to be that the Cardinals could be a lot stronger at cornerback this season. And that's despite the free-agent departure of quality contributor Richard Marshall.

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