Building a Super Bowl winner is a lot easier when you already have a solid foundation.

Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Chris Jones formed the foundation for the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Think how quickly it all came undone for the Los Angeles Rams without a healthy Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald last season.

Youth is a valuable resource in roster-building because it offers the chance to find the next cornerstone for a team’s offense or defense. It’s why teams spend so much time, money and resources at turning over every stone in the draft.

Here, we’ll take a look at the most promising player on each NFL roster who could become a building block. For the sake of avoiding the obvious, we’re looking at players who are still on rookie contracts, haven’t received an extension and haven’t made the Pro Bowl. Players from this year’s draft class are also excluded because they haven’t shown anything on the field yet.

These players have the potential to become a fixed part of the future plan, but they still have something to prove.


Arizona Cardinals: CB Marco Wilson

Based on the parameters it’s pretty slim pickings for the Arizona Cardinals. That’s likely why they’ve essentially cleaned house and started over with new head coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort.

The Cardinals recent draft history is littered with misses, but Marco Wilson’s improvement from Year 1 to Year 2 is cause for some hope.

As a rookie fourth-round draft pick, Wilson started 13 games, surrendering six touchdowns and a passer rating of 120.8 with no interceptions. In 2022, he cleaned up those numbers. He still started 13 games but had three picks and only gave up a passer rating of 77.1.

Gannon was able to get great play out of Darius Slay and James Bradberry in 2022. It’s a good bet that he’s the right coach to help Wilson elevate his game to another level.

If he makes the same kind of improvement in 2023, he could prove that he’s a future starter on the outside for the foreseeable future.