Arizona Cardinals Projected 53 Man Roster

Sure there are numerous training camp battles that need to play themselves out before we can start serious talks about a final 53 man roster, but where's the fun in that. Here's my 53:

QBs: (2) - Matt Lienart & Kurt Warner

I've never been a fan of keeping 3 QBs on the active roster, that's what the practice squad is for. St. Pierre's not eligible for the practice squad but undrafted rookie Anthony Morelli is so in essence he's your 3rd QB.

RBs: (3) - Edgerrin James, JJ Arrington, Tim Hightower

Arrington beats out Shipp because Arrington has value on special teams. Not to mention that Arrington's 4 years younger and Shipp hasn't averaged over 3 yards a carry since 2003.

FBs: (1) - Tim Castille

Castille beats out incumbent Terrelle Smith, former Brown, and the team does Smith a favor by letting him go instead of making him sit on the bench

WRs: (6) - Fitz, Q, Early Doucet, Steve Breaston, Jerheme Urban, Jamaica Rector

Sean Morey ends up being a surprise cut despite his track record for being a special teams standout and his familiarity with the coaching staff. Former Cowboy, Rector wins the job in preseason and camp by showing his improved ability to stretch defenses.

TEs: (3) - Leonard Pope, Ben Patrick, Jermane Tuman

No surprise here, tight end is quite possibly the most set position on the offensive depth chart. Pope and Patrick are the youth and future and Tuman, the former Steeler, is the veteran blocking tight end that Whiz covets.


OL:
(9) - Levi Brown, Deuce Lutui, Al Johnson, Reggie Wells, Mike Gandy, Elton Brown, Lyle Sendlein, Brandon Keith, One veteran OT cut by another team

The ninth spot will depend a great deal on how Keith preforms in the preseason. If he does well enough that the coaching staff would feel comfortable giving him snaps at tackle, then they can only carry eight. I don't have that much faith in a rookie yet though. Otherwise Elton Brown is the only backup OT.

DT/NT: (2) - Gabe Watson & Alan Branch

If the Cards play much 4-3, then a couple defensive ends will have to slide down to tackle but Watson and Branch should be a great rotation as 3-4 nose tackles.

DE: (6) - Darnell Dockett, Antonio Smith, Bryan Robinson, Calais Campbell,  Kenny Iwebema, Bo Schobel

That's an awful lot of guys to fill just two positions but four of them (Dockett, Smith, Robinson and Campbell) can also slide down to DT when the Cardinals decides to roll out a 4-3. In the end it looks like a deep a talented unit where everyone should stay fresh.

OLB: (5) - Chike Okeafor, Bertrand Berry, Clark Haggans & Travis LaBoy

The outside backers are deep and talented and should make for a formidable rotation. Chris Harrington will end up on the practice squad as the conversion from college defensive end to NFL linebacker is too much to overcome in one offseason.

ILB: (5) - Karlos Dansby, Gerald Hayes, Monty Beisel, Matt Stewart, Ali Highsmith

Call me crazy but somehow I just think Highsmith, the undrafted free agent, will do too much in the preseason to not make the 53. He'll have to keep his motor in high gear especially on special teams. He'll take his lumps but he's a player.

CBs: (5) - Roderick Hood, Eric Green, DRC, Matt Ware & Micheal Adams

Youth and athleticism rule the secondary as Ware and Adams beat out veteran Ralph Brown. DRC won't win the starting job for week 1, but he'll take over for Green before mid-season.

FS/SS: (4) - Adrian Wilson, Antrel Role, Aaron Francisco & Oliver Celestin

The starting two are solid and as long as they're healthy, the secondary will be solid. Francisco and Celestin are adequate backups but we have to hope that they're role players behind Wilson and Role instead of fill-in starters in case of injury.

Specialists: (3) - Neil Rackers, Dirk Johnson & Nathan Hodel

If Rackers is even decent this unit is above average. If he has another season like 2007, they need to find another kicker mid-season.

 

Thoughts? What tweaks would you make?

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