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Arizona Cardinals 53 man roster projection

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What does one man think the Arizona Cardinals 53 man roster could look like?

NFL: Arizona Cardinals-OTA Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This is my "before the summer" depth chart, the first of many. You will be surprised with a few of my options, but just keep an open mind. Like usual. Go Cards!

Offense:

QB:

  1. Carson Palmer
  2. Drew Stanton
  3. Blaine Gabbert

RB:

  1. David Johnson
  2. Kerwynn Williams
  3. Elijhaa Penny
  4. T.J. Logan

WR1:

  1. Larry Fitzgerald
  2. Jaron Brown

WR2:

  1. John Brown
  2. Chad Williams
  3. Jeremy Ross

WR3:

  1. J.J. Nelson
  2. Donteea Dye
  3. Krishawn Hogan

TE:

  1. Jermaine Gresham
  2. Ifeanyi Momah

TE:

  1. Troy Niklas

LT:

  1. D.J. Humphries
  2. Will Holden

LG:

  1. Mike Iupati

C:

  1. A.Q. Shipley
  2. Evan Boehm

RG:

  1. Dorian Johnson
  2. Cole Toner

RT:

  1. Jared Veldheer

Maybe I'm being biased, but I think that Blaine Gabbert is way too talented to get beaten out by Trevor Knight. Zac Dysert has the better chance at beating him, but I'll give the edge to Gabbert because he has previous starter experience.

David Johnson is going to get almost 40-50 snaps a game this year, that's my big declaration, so backup duties needs to be someone who can be a receiving threat from out of the backfield. I want to give Elijhaa Penny the first option, but I'm not sure if he can be a receiving option. To me, it's way overdue, I think that Kerwynn Williams DESERVES to be the second option. You'll also notice that there are no fullbacks, but it's typically a tight end who motions out of the backfield.

I think there will be 8 receivers on the roster this year, as there is a lot of depth. The biggest surprise is that addition of Donteea Dye from Tampa Bay, it's always a numbers game, and I think the Cardinals could really use another option. No more depending on Brittan Golden.

The tight end position is unrefined. I only have three tight ends making the final roster, but keep an eye on the Cardinals maybe going after a guy like Gary Barnidge to give the Cards more of a quality camp signing (Keim type of signing). Only Gresham, Niklas, and Momah. Can Niklas and Momah stay healthy? That's why I have the Cardinals signing Seals-Jones or Wroblewski as practice squad players.

Maybe my biggest surprise is that I have a rookie starting at right guard, but that's for a reason. Dorian Johnson is a road grader, and that's what Bruce Arians is trying to do with David Johnson, give him some open lanes. I think that Cole Toner, Evan Boehm, John Wetzel, and Ulrick John are all going to compete for the starting right guard job also. But it will be the rookie who wins it on the outset of camp. I know that Bruce Arians prefers to not start a rookie, but I think the Cardinals got great value in the fourth round when Dorian Johnson was picked up.

Defense:

LDE:

  1. Robert Nkemdiche
  2. Frostee Rucker

NT:

  1. Corey Peters
  2. Olsen Pierre
  3. Xavier Williams

RDT:

  1. Rodney Gunter
  2. Josh Mauro

SAM:

  1. Chandler Jones

SILB:

  1. Karlos Dansby
  2. Haason Reddick

RILB:

  1. Deone Bucannon

WLB:

  1. Markus Golden
  2. Ahmad Brooks

LCB:

  1. Patrick Peterson
  2. Elie Bouka
  3. Sojourn Shelton

SS:

  1. Antoine Bethea

FS:

  1. Tyvon Branch
  2. Harlan Miller

N:

  1. Tyrann Mathieu
  2. Budda Baker

RCB:

  1. Brandon Williams
  2. Justin Bethel
  3. Johnathan Ford

The defensive line is the first place I want to start, as the starters are Robert Nkemdiche, Corey Peters, and Rodney Gunter, and it's not surprising. I think all three players will alternate with Mauro and Olsen Pierre, so look out for a very deep line.

Only three outside linebackers, as the Cardinals would 'jump' at the chance of grabbing Ahmad Brooks (someone who would want revenge on the 49ers), and he would alternate with Chandler Jones and Markus Golden. Imagine getting all three of them on the field at the same time. Foaming at the mouth.

Inside linebacker is a very tricky situation, as I have a hard time thinking that Karlos Dansby will be able to play more then 80% of the defensive snaps. I think that if it's possible, I would start Haason Reddick and Deone Bucannon together, just because of the overall speed. Alani Fua, Gabe Martin, and Scooby Wright are there, but I just don't see them carrying more then 3-4 inside linebackers, with Scooby given the advantage because of his youth.

The corners, safeties, and nickels are probably going to alternate, as there should be more depth all throughout the position. As far as our rookie draft picks go, I think that Johnathan "Rudy" Ford has the greatest chance of being cut on the outset of preseason. Patrick Peterson and Brandon Williams come out as starters, while alternating with Justin Bethel and Elie Bouka. Tyrann Mathieu and Budda Baker will primarily be the nickel corners, and maybe Harlan Miller if need be. So that leaves Antoine Bethea, Tyvon Branch, and Harlan Miller are the strong safety options.

Special Teams:

P:

  1. Matt Wile

K:

  1. Phil Dawson

LS:

  1. Aaron Brewer

Only one job up for grabs on special teams heading into summer, as I predict Matt Wile the winner over Richie Leone. I still think the Cardinals will carry one special teams player on the practice squad, I believe it would be more important to settle the punting job before the preseason, because reps will be hard to come by. As long as Aaron Brewer, Phil Dawson, and Matt Wile click, then the special teams should be much more improved.