After the 32-24 preseason win over the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said that they would make their 22 cuts by noon Friday, well in advance of the Saturday 3 PM (Arizona time) deadline that the league imposes. He also said that the roster is going to come down to five or six tough decisions.
Now I have not yet gone into much of the predictions of the final roster. In our latest podcast episode, I spoke of who I personally would take at the end of the roster -- Ryan Lindley or Ryan Williams. I also gave my thoughts as to why Tony Jefferson could be on the outside looking in for the final roster. But now I give you my roster prediction -- not how I necessarily will do it, but how I think it will happen.
QB -- Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton (2)
The fact that Bruce Arians said that he would consider keeping only two quarterbacks means that he probably would prefer to do so. Lindley did well on Thursday, but I think he stays on the outside.
RB -- Rashard Mendenhall, Alfonso Smith, Stepfan Taylor, Andre Ellington, Ryan Williams (5)
We already know that the team is going to keep all five guys. I think this is temporary, though. I think Williams will get dealt. But for now, this is how it will go.
WR -- Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Andre Roberts, Jaron Brown, Mike Thomas, Kerry Taylor (6)
Brown made lots of plays this preseason. So did Taylor. Taylor's flexibility to play all the WR positions and the fact he will play on special team gets him on the team -- plus, he made a bunch of plays, too. Thomas is the burner that makes it, as he is the one with NFL experience. Charles Hawkins is the man out. We'll shoot for his returning on the Arizona Cardinals on the practice squad.
TE -- Rob Housler, Jim Dray, D.C. Jefferson, Kory Sperry (4)
I'm not quite sure what to make of this group, but Jeff King I would imagine will end up on injured reserve, which opens the door for someone. The potential upside of Jefferson keeps him on the team over Richard Quinn.
OL -- Levi Brown, Lyle Sendlein, Daryn Colledge, Eric Winston, Nate Potter, Bobby Massie, Paul Fanaika, Mike Gibson, Earl Watford (9)
I know that Cooper is going likely end up on IR/designated to return. I think Gibson gets the nod over Chilo Rachal because of the flexibility to play center. Watford will make the team to develop. Senio Kelemete could end up on the practice squad. (Yes, he is eligible.)
DL -- Darnell Dockett, Dan Williams, Calais Campbell, Frostee Rucker, David Carter, Ronald Talley (6)
Ricky Lumpkin was a strong possibility, but there seems to be an injury of sorts. That opened the door for Carter. Talley has been praised by Arians recently.
LB -- (Daryl Washington -- exempted for suspension) Lorenzo Alexander, Sam Acho, Karlos Dansby, Jasper Brinkley, Kevin Minter, John Abraham, Matt Shaughnessy , Reggie Walker, Alex Okafor (9)
This is a large group. You can't get rid of any of them. The one to survive the Washington suspension is Reggie Walker.
DB -- Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers, Yeremiah Bell, Rashad Johnson, Tyrann Mathieu, Justin Bethel, Javier Arenas, Jonathon Amaya, Jamell Fleming (9)
I pick Arenas to make the squad over Antoine Cason. I also have Jefferson on the outside. The numbers just aren't there. Someone (like Fleming) could get dealt.
Special teams (3):
Jay Feely, Dave Zastudil and Mike Leach
The one thing I could see changing is taking Kerry Taylor off and adding Tony Jefferson. Taylor could land on the practice squad one more season.