We all know the Arizona Cardinals have a talented roster. With players like Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu and Carson Palmer, it goes without saying. However, it has been disappointing to see some roster rankings and where the Cardinals sit.
Wait...the Eagles and the Raiders?
Top five players: DB Tyrann Mathieu, DE Calais Campbell, QB Carson Palmer, OG Evan Mathis, WR Larry Fitzgerald
Starters who should be upgraded: TE Jermaine Gresham, LB Kevin Minter, CB Justin Bethel
This Arizona roster is peppered with elite players, but there are issues with depth. Mathieu is a game-changer in the secondary, as is Patrick Peterson, allowing the Cardinals to match up against some of the best receiving weapons in the game. Fitzgerald turned back the years, and Palmer had a ludicrous season before his playoff implosion. Campbell remains an excellent player on the inside of the defense. Adding Mathis to the O-line gives them another potentially elite player to add to those already mentioned, but their stud players have to overcome some depth issues elsewhere.
Linebacker has been an issue since losing Daryl Washington to suspension, and the cornerback depth chart looks bare outside of Peterson. The tight ends -- Gresham and Darren Fells -- do not inspire confidence, while the offensive line has some potential weak links at center and right tackle, in particular.
The analysis is sound overall. If you have followed any PFF content over the last year, you know how the site gushes about Peterson, Mathieu and Palmer. Mathis rates very highly, especially in the run game.
Now, the Cardinals don't have so much of an issue at linebacker as they suggest. Deone Bucannon has been every bit the linebacker Washington was. Yes, Minter could be upgraded, but he is adequate.
At tight end, the Cardinals are fine. They don't get a ton of production from the position, but they don't ask it. Gresham is better than most. Darren Fells still is tapping his potential.
Bethel? He is an unknown. They way the Cardinals coaches have spoken about him make you think he is great. He has shown flashes. But as a number two corner, we will see if he needs to be upgraded.
As for the Cardinals' ranking overall, it's hard to take offense overall. And while it seems odd to have Oakland ranked ahead of Arizona, that is a loaded roster. They appear to be on the verge of something special.
What is nice is seeing the Cardinals ranked well ahead of Seattle, who only comes in 13th.
Whether you like Pro Football Focus or not, this time they come in on our good side. And while the roster is only the eighth most talented, Arizona is still picked to be the top team in the NFC by the same site, so despite three other "more talented" teams, PFF still likes Arizona to be the best in the NFC.