The first preseason game of the year doesn't mean very much to the football world outside of a select few of crazed fans who have been salivating over the thought of real football for going on six months. One of the things that the first preseason game of the year does provide though is the first look at an 'official' depth chart and the Arizona Cardinals put out their first chart yesterday. Now word to the wise, Whisenhunt doesn't like to tweak the chart prior to the first game so he basically inserts each rookie's name at the bottom and leaves most of the rest unchanged. Thanks to a change in defensive philosophy though (or at least a continued shift towards a 3-4), there are some changes on the defensive side of the ball. With a quick look at how this current roster plays out on paper, here's a quick analysis of the depth chart.
Overall there aren't really any surprises on the offensive side of the ball, unless you didn't think Pope would be listed atop the tight end spot. There has been some shake-up on the offensive line with the injury to Vallejo though with Oliver Ross swinging over to left tackle and Brandon Keith taking snaps at right tackle.
The interesting thing about the defensive chart is how they chose to describe their defensive line (yes that's not a typo). They've chosen to list only one defensive end, a nose tackle and a defensive tackle for some unknown reason. This is nothing more than a conspiracy theory on my part but if the organization cares at all about "NINE-O" (Dockett) making the Pro Bowl, it would make sense to list him as a tackle instead of an end. There aren't any major surprises at linebacker but it's interesting to see that Hobson is listed on the inside and Bullock is listed on the outside (after he worked primarily on the inside during OTA's). In the secondary, I wouldn't get worried about Toler and Rashad Johnson being listed at the bottom of the depth chart. As we said above, this is the "Whiz way" of handling rookies and we'll see how the chart get's tweaked as the preseason plays out.
KR -- Steve Breaston, Michael Ray Garvin, LaRod Stephens-Howling
PR -- Steve Breaston, Antrel Rolle, Michael Ray Garvin
K -- Neil Rackers
P -- Ben Graham
LS -- Mike Leach
H -- Ben Graham, Sean Morey
There aren't really any suprises in the specialist department either. Garvin is clearly a return specialist and if he ends up on the final squad it'll be because he won the kick and/or punt return job.