The 2017-18 NFL season may not be officially over, but for almost a month now it has been for the Arizona Cardinals. That has left plenty of time for General Manager Steve Keim to review his roster and at least get a basic idea of what position groups are stable and which ones he may look to add to via free agency or the draft.
A couple of the position groups on the roster may not require much tweaking at all. Whether it is front line talent or depth at the position, Keim likely won’t look to tweak too much and instead opt to spend his picks and dollars elsewhere.
One of those groups is running back. It seems like 4 or 5 years ago, we couldn’t stop talking about how badly the Cardinals needed to find a franchise running back. Beanie Wells never worked out. Ryan Williams was oft-injured and he didn’t pan out either. It’s not that the franchise didn’t invest in the position, it’s just that they never got the return from the investments that they needed. That is, until David Johnson came along.
Now with Johnson, a multi-dimensional weapon on offense, in the fold, the franchise is in great hands at running back. He’s going to get the majority of snaps no matter what for the next few years. Behind Johnson, Adrian Peterson is an option to return. The future Hall of Fame back showed he still has life in his legs. Then you have Kerwynn Williams and T.J. Logan (more of a return guy) to round out that group.
On defense, linebacker looks to be in good hands. Assuming the Cardinals stay with a 3-4 front, former first round pick Haason Reddick seems poised to move to inside linebacker and play alongside Deone Bucannon. On the outside, Chandler Jones is an absolute stud that led the NFL in sacks and Markus Golden should be able to rebound from a torn ACL. Again, the linebacker corps is in great shape heading into the future and they still have youth on their side. If the team wanted, they could move Bucannon back to the safety position and draft a thumper to play inside with Reddick, but in now way is that a necessity move.
For me, those are the two strongest groups on each side of the ball. What do you think? Where do the Cardinals’ biggest strengths lie?