After that there will be a number of moves made, roster decisions and some more changes that will effect what others think of the Arizona Cardinals.
However, as of this moment, with this roster and coaching staff, Warren Sharp of Sharp Football laid out his 2019 wins forecast and for the Cardinals there is good news and bad.
The good news, Sharp’s model projects them to win two additional games in 2019, getting them to five.
The bad news is that Sharp sees them as picking first in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Sharp’s expectations are not crazy, a two win improvement for the Cardinals would be a positive step and something I think should be the expectation for this team. 5-11 with competent, competitive play in 4-5 additional games, within one score, shows the team is in the right direction.
One of the reasons Sharp’s model projects another top pick in 2020 is that the Cardinals have a tough schedule, again based on Sharp’s model:
Using win totals we can forecast 2019 Strength of Schedule.— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) April 1, 2019
Patriots, Jets & Eagles have the 3 easiest schedules based on current win totals.
Texans, Broncos & Raiders have the 3 hardest schedules.
Full list ▼ You can also filter by team & view home/away strength of opponent. pic.twitter.com/j94gsBQCeg
If the Cardinals pick first two years in a row that will be a tough pill to swallow and also raise the ire of anyone who wanted to move on from Josh Rosen, but I’d preach caution.
One of the reasons the Cardinals are Vegas favorites to pick first along with a number of analytic based models having them in the bottom five teams in the NFL is that they lack talent all over the roster.
Rosen will have more and louder critics, but it still won’t give us a full picture.
Mike Clay’s unit based rankings show that the Cardinals have one of the worst quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive line and safety units in the NFL.
If the Cardinals are going to improve, it will be one of those groups making a big leap in 2019... The quarterback likely the main one.