Take a look at the team's first official depth chart here.
Bruce Arians declined to comment much on who is listed where, saying, "I’m really not interested in answering a bunch of questions where a guy is on the depth chart for this game." At this time of the year, it's extremely fluid; jobs are there for the taking and players will gain ground quickly on practice stand-outs with strong in-game performances.
Arians, on Daryl Washington's third string status, said, "He's not playing in September. He'll be listed higher than that later." Will we see him on the field with Dansby at some point in the preseason, as they are expected to play in the regular season once Washington returns from his suspension?
Another mild surprise at inside linebacker, second-year man Colin Parker is listed as a fourth-stringer behind rookies Kevin Minter and Kenny Demens. Arians definitely treats rookies differently than Cards fans are used to -- in the past, Parker would probably have played ahead of those two, at least for a couple games, based on his experience in the league.
OLB Dan Giordano isn't listed on the depth chart. Currently on the PUP, he isn't able to practice or play with the team. He'll probably fit into that open Sam 'backer spot behind Zack Nash when he's healthy enough to re-join the team. Most undrafted players would have been cut by this point if they got banged up, so Giordano must have shown something for them to hold on to him this long.
Long listed as a CB on the team's roster, undrafted rookie Josh Hill will appear at strong safety. This aligns with what information I was able to gather on him shortly after he signed with the team -- he's a solid tackler and zone defender that doesn't quite match up in man coverage. Can any of these young guys overtake Jonathon Amaya or Curtis Taylor?
On the offensive side of the ball, I'm not quite sure how to interpret the tight end spots. Is Rob Housler TE1 or TE2, and how much difference does the distinction really make? Interesting that Kory Sperry and Alex Gottlieb appear to have the edge on Jim Dray at this point, despite Dray's experience as an H-back type tight end under Ken Whisenhunt. Seventh-round pick D.C. Jefferson has an uphill climb to make the final 53.
WR Michael Floyd is officially listed as a starter, but that shouldn't be too much of a surprise. News from training camp is that he's developing as Carson Palmer's go-to target. Both he and Andre Roberts should see plenty of targets this season regardless of where they stand on the depth chart.
Scott Wedige, who filled in a couple games at center for the Cardinals in 2012, is now listed as third string guard. Mike Gibson appears to have the edge there as a versatile backup C/G. It's hard to look at the offensive line and not think about the numbers game. Senio Kelemete and Earl Watford are going to need to stand out in live action to have a chance to stick but it will be harder to cut Watford, one of this year's fourth-round picks.
Alfonso Smith, Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington are all going to get a chance as kick returners behind Javier Arenas. That would be a good way for those guys to contribute on game days if they can handle the job.
Though the team may be combing the waiver wire for potential upgrades (tight end, wide receiver and safety come to mind), don't expect many new faces at this point. Cut-downs don't start until August 27th, when teams must drop from 90 players to 75.
More from Revenge of the Birds:
- Arizona Cardinals target points allowed, turnovers on defense
- The Arizona Cardinals and the importance of the running game
- Arizona Cardinals training camp: 10 (+1) observations from the Red and White practice
- NFL training camp: Patrick Peterson 'could be one of the top 5 WRs in the league'
- Arizona Cardinals training camp 2013: Ryan Williams says "there's nothing wrong" with his knee