The Arizona Cardinals filled several needs with their seven 2015 NFL Draft selections. They addressed the pass rush, running back, the return game and bolstered the offensive line and defensive line depth. Let's see what each pick should contribute in 2015.
Projected role: Starting RT
As the team's first pick, he should start. He will battle to start at right tackle with Bobby Massie. However, they didn't draft him to sit on the bench. It is possible Massie holds on to the job, but he will be a free agent after the season, so Humphries will take that job over for sure next season.
Projected role: Starting OLB
This is a little tricky. If the team does indeed move Matt Shaughnessy to the defensive end, then this opens the door for Golden to start. The OLB position is a big question mark. LaMarr Woodley will probably start, but Golden has been compared to him. Golden could end up beating out Woodley or getting worked in. He should get playing time in 2015.
Projected role: Number 2 RB
Andre Ellington will be the starter. He will ideally get the most touches, but Johnson will get carries. That is why he was drafted. If everything goes right, they might be the only two to get touches at the position.
Projected role: Depth, special teams
Arizona already has a deep defensive line right now. They have veterans and younger players. I don't expect him to play much this season, except on special teams.
Projected role: rotational OLB, special teams
If he is as good at rushing the passer as he says he is, he will find his way onto the field. If he develops, you might see late in the season both he and Golden starting.
Projected role: Return specialist
Nelson will not likely see much time on the field offensively. The team already has a lot of weapons. He will, though, return punts and kicks. That is where his money will be made.
Projected role: TE 4
Christian will be at the back of the depth chart at tight end, but I imagine he will make the roster because he is a little different than the other guys on the roster. He is not a traditional inline tight end. He can move around. He will be used for blocking more. Bruce Arians says he will be great on special teams, too.
Overall, this draft class potentially can have some impact in 2015. If all goes well in terms of development, five (including the return game) could get significant playing time. If that is the case, it could be the best draft Steve Keim has had.