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2017 Training Camp Preview: Offensive line has been addressed, now they need to perform

The Arizona Cardinals have continually invested in their offensive line since Steve Keim took over. Now they need to perform.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Players

D.J. Humphries, Mike Iupati, A.Q. Shipley, Cole Toner, Jared Veldheer, Will Holden, Evan Boehm, Tony Bergstrom, Dorian Johnson, John Wetzel, Ulrick John, Jonathan McLaughlin, Daniel Munyer, Lucas Crowley, Kaleb Johnson, Givens Price

After the 2016 season, the question remained: How can the Arizona Cardinals fix their offensive line?

It has not been for lack of trying, two first round picks, multiple day three picks, two expensive free agents and a litany of other investments have been made, but there hasn’t been much progress.

In fact, 2016 can be seen as a regression from the steps forward in 2014 and especially 2015.

We know four of the starters, likely, will be (from left to right) Humphries, Iupati, Shipley and Veldheer.

The biggest question mark right now is who wins the starting right guard job?

Cole Toner and Evan Boehm move into training camp as the leading candidates, but John Wetzel may have something to say about it.

From there, it will be about finding players who may be able to take over down the line and keeping the versatile backups they already have, Wetzel, Ulrick John and Cole Toner.

Tony Bergstrom feels like a veteran camp body, while McLaughlin, Munyer, Crowley and Johnson feel like young camp bodies. Price is a name that has been on the roster and practice squad for the Cardinals, but he has an uphill battle to overtake a player like Toner, Wetzel or John.

The biggest questions look like rookies Will Holden and Dorian Johnson.

They will have the chance to compete, but both feel like they are auditioning for jobs in 2018, maybe as possible players taking over for those expensive veterans we talked about earlier.

Anyway you slice it, the final eight or nine is going to be fun to watch, even if the first seven feel fairly obvious.

What Happens?


That feels like the nine that end up on the active roster.

The one man to watch is Ulrick John, who impressed the coaches last year, but can he overtake another favorite in Wetzel or beat out a draft pick in Holden?

I think we could see John and Lucas Crowley on the practice squad, maybe someone like McLaughlin so he can add weight, he is listed at 289, but usually offensive line practice squad positions are filled from other rosters.

Surprise Cuts?

Could we see the early termination of on of the vets in Iupati, Shipley or Veldheer? I highly, highly doubt it.

From there, who would be a surprise? Toner or Wetzel? Maybe Boehm? I know we all like to believe that drafted offensive lineman always improve and make the roster, but at some point you have to perform, even if it as soon as year two.