Looking at each positional group on the roster and an early offseason depth chart.
- Sam Bradford
- Mike Glennon
- Josh Rosen
- Alek Torgersen
- Brandon Doughty
Sleeper: Chad Kanoff, Princeton
In terms of talent, the Cardinals now have one of the most gifted and deepest QB groups in the NFL. It’s amazing to think that when Steve Wilks was hired as the new head coach, there were no QBs on the roster---and now look at this group of six.
Steve Keim is hoping that Sam Bradford will be the Comeback Player of the Year and that their talented 1st round draftee Josh Rosen can take over the reins when the time is right.
An UDFA who might make things interesting is Chad Kanoff of Princeton, who was the school record-setting Ivy League Player of the Year for having completed over 73% of his passes for 3,474 yards and a TD/int ratio of 29/9.
Byron Leftwich put Kanoff through a workout and raved about what he saw from the 6-4, 225 passer. Last year, Leftwich also liked what he saw in a workout with Alek Torgersen, another intriguing Ivy League QB (Penn) whom the Cardinals recently claimed off waivers.
- David Johnson
- Chase Edmonds
- Elijaah Penny
- T.J. Logan
- D.J. Foster
Sleeper: FB Austin Ramesh, Wisconsin
The depth and versatility at the RB position should enable Mike McCoy to diversify star RB David Johnson’s role in the offense. Normally, I would be hesitant to list a rookie at the #2 RB, but there is no question that the Cardinals view Chase Edmonds as a work horse RB capable of sharing the bulk of the carries with Johnson. There may be numerous tines when McCoy uses both Johnson and Edmonds in the backfield at the same time and then motions one of them out to the slot.
I believe that the coaches are going to take a particular shining to Elijaah Penny who should be super motivated to elevate his game now that his brother is the lead RB in Seattle. Penny’s pound-the-hole, lower-the-shoulder power style of rushing adds a valuable element to the group. He also may be developed as a FB.
T.J. Logan and D.J. Foster bring value as dual threat 3rd down type RBs and STs contributors. Logan should handle the kickoff return duties, while Foster could double as a RB, slot WR.
The wild card here is Wisconsin FB Austin Ramesh, who has very similar traits to the first guy BA traded away, Anthony Sherman. Ramesh offers talent in the running and passing games as a ball carrier, blocker and receiver. Plus, he should be a stalwart on STs.
- Jermaine Gresham
- Ricky Seals-Jones
- Gabe Holmes
- Bryce Williams
- Beau Sandland
Sleeper: Andrew Vollert, Weber St.
The TE group is the one that could change the most over the next few months. It remains unclear as to when Jermaine Gresham will be able to return from his Achilles rehab. When he does, it should be interesting if he can reclaim some of his old magic with college teammate Sam Bradford.
Ricky Seals-Jones is an emerging talent who will be flexed into the slot from time to time and used frequently in motion as a blocker and receiver.
Beyond that, this group is wide-open. One has to wonder whether Mike McCoy will call on future HOF TE Antonio Gates who wants to play and is free to sign with any team. Gates could still provide value in the passing game and would be a fabulous mentor to the younger players Holmes, Williams, Sandland and Andrew Vollert, a gifted All- Big Sky receiver from Weber St. who over the past two years caught 123 passes for 1,613 yards and 12 TDs.
Three other veteran UFA TE options could be Mercedes Lewis (33), Brent Celek (33) and Julius Thomas (29). Lewis has been working out big-time and is looking for the right situation. Celek and Thomas have been slowed by injuries in recent years.
- D.J. Humphries
- Andre Smith
- John Wetzel
- Will Holden
- Vinston Painter
Sleeper: Korey Cunningham, Cincinnati
The Cardinals have chosen to pick up D.J. Humphries 5th year option, which is a strong vote of confidence for the oft-injured LT. It should be very interesting to see how elevated his game arises under the tutelage of Ray Brown, whom Humphries has already developed a strong rapport with and affinity for.
One of the most intensely competitive training camp battles should be at RT between Andre Smith and John Wetzel. Both Smith and Wetzel have upside in the running game and whoever distinguishes himself in pass pro will most likely win the job. Will Holden will be Humphries’ backup at LT, unless super athletic 7th round draftee, Korey Cunningham, charges right past him.
Smith, Wetzel and Holden can all provide valuable depth at guard as well.
- Justin Pugh
- Mike Iupati
- Mason Cole
- John Wetzel
- Will Holden
Sleeper: Brant Weiss, Toledo
Adding C/G Mason Cole in the 3rd round was a key move by Steve Keim, as there wasn’t much G depth behind Pugh and Iupati, both of whom are coming off injury-plagued seasons. With Pugh and Iupati healthy, the Cardinals are hoping to boast one of the top running games in the league.
The sleeper here is Brant Weiss, a 6-6, 297 pound road grader who helped Toledo lead the MAC in yards per game and scoring.
- A.Q. Shipley
- Mason Cole
- Evan Boehm
- Daniel Munyer
- Josh Allen
The biggest question is whether Mason Cole or Evan Boehm can supplant A.Q. Shipley as the starter. Ideally, the Cardinals would like to get younger and more athletic at the position. But, as we know, Shipley is one tough, gritty competitor.
The wild card here is Daniel Munyer who lacks ideal size, but may well have the best feet in the group. Quick-footed, athletic centers can be a real asset in zone blocking schemes. The most motivated of the group should be Evan Boehm, who now finds himself not only battling for a starting job, but possibly for a roster spot.
- Larry Fitzgerald
- Brice Butler
- Christian Kirk
- J.J. Nelson
- Chad Williams
Sleepers: Trent Sherfield, Vanderbilt and Corey Willis, Central Michigan
The WR group is taking shape with Larry Fitzgerald as the bell cow, Brice Butler and J.J. Nelson as deep threats, Christian Kirk as the quick slot RAC dynamo/top punt returner and Chad Williams as the all-purpose option.
There is some valuable depth behind these five in Cobi Hamilton, Carlos Agudosi, and Rashad Ross----and a quartet of talented UDFAs is Trent Sherfield, Corey Willis, Jonah Trinnaman and Jalen Tolliver.
Sherfield reminds me of one of my favorite WRs in the draft, Tre’Quan Smith of Central Florida. Sherfield’s got good size (6-1, 205), 4.4 speed, strength (19 reps) and short area quickness (6.90 3 cone). He is a polished route runner who can bust chunk yards over the middle and slip past defenders up the deep thirds. He boasts reliably strong hands, and good high point catching ability on 50/50 balls. He was one of the most productive WRs in the SEC, playing against some of the most talented secondaries in college football.
Willis, at 5-10, 182, isn’t a speed burner (4.55), per se, but he’s super quick out of his breaks. He has a nose for the end zone like another one of my favorite WRs in this draft, Anthony Miller of Memphis. In fact, Willis broke Antonio Brown’s TD record at central Michigan with 23 TDs, topping off a highly productive (161/2,394/14.9ave/23 TDs) collegiate career.