The Arizona Cardinals haven't even made it through their final OTAs, let alone minicamp.
So, I thought what a perfect time to try to figure out the final 53 man roster - only about 3 months in advance. And injuries, trades, acquisitions, practice squads, releases?... why let facts get in the way of me writing now, right? And that a similar article was just well written and discussed in FanPosts a few days ago? Hardly anyone reads those things anyway, correct? (And I'm joking, folks.)
Going by the number of roster spots taken last season - here's an impetuous glance into the Card's front office crystal ball:
RB (4) -- With Arians aversion to RBs I'm guessing one less here and adding another spot somewhere else. Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Williams, Stepfan Taylor and William Powell. Andre Ellington to PS and Alfonso Smith on the outside looking in.
WR (6) -- Maybe an extra body here? Micheal Floyd, Andre Roberts and that Fitz kid are locks. I'm giving Ryan Swope and LaRon Byrd the other two positions and a surprise with Jarrett Dillard -but looking at the roster, was surprised how thin the receiver rankings would be if an injury happened to the Big Three.
TE (4) -- Rob Housler and Jeff King are the givens. Jim Dray, despite the bad hands, best fits Arians ideal of a H-back and D.C Jefferson rounds out a middling group. Kory Sperry would make the squad if the team felt Jefferson would pass through final cut waivers, but they don't - so he doesn't.
OL (9) -- From starters left to right, you have Levi Brown, Jonathan Cooper, Lyle Sendlein, Daryn Colledge and Bobby Massie. Nate Potter and Earl of Watford as definite reserves and the final spots are training camp competition between Mike Gibson, Senio Kelemete and Chilo Rachel - though I would not be stunned if a darkhorse pulled into this race and won.
DL (6) -- This is a little tough cuz of the uncertainty of new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles' base defense. Good thing is most of the front seven are interchangeable and can stand straight up or with a fist in the ground. With a true 3-4 (heck, even with a 4-3) Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett and Dan Williams are shoo-ins. Using the 3 front as a premise, Matt Shaunessy, David Carter make the final cut with Ronald Talley and Frostee Rucker battling for the final position.
LB (7) -- Other than WR, this is the slot that I have the one less RB number being filled. Just too much talent here. Daryl Washington, Karlos Dansby, Lorenzo Alexander, Sam Acho, Kevin Minter are definites. O' Brien Schofeld and Jasper Brinkley seem like real possibilities. Even if Alex Okafor goes PS, that still makes Brandon Williams, Zach Nash, Tim Fugger and Reggie Walker as the odd guys out.
DB/S (11) -- Another extremely deep position, some good players will be hitting the waiver/ trade wire come August. This will probably be the most competitive situation in camp. That Peterson guy, Jerraud Powers, Antoine Cason, Tyrann Mathieu, Yeremiah Bell and Rashad Johnson have their jobs sewn up. You have to think that Justin Bethel and Jonathon Amaya are safe also. That only leaves Jamell Fleming, Javier Arenas, Ronnie Yell, Bryan McCann, Tony Jefferson, Josh Hill, Javon Harris and Curtis Taylor fighting for the final three slots.
But then again, how much you want to bet that those three go down in preseason and Keim and Co. throw that crystal ball against the wall?