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You Make The Call

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Los Angeles Chargers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

There are some very interesting pre-season position battles that are heating up amongst the Cardinals’ players.

I would be fascinated to know which players you would keep for the roster or practice squad with regard to the following competitions: (I will add my own thoughts as we go)

53 Man Roster Battles:

RB D.J. Foster vs. RB Donta Strickland vs. RB Wes Hills vs. waiver claim vs. keeping only 3 RBs.

  • Foster is a local favorite—-he’s playing a ton of STs. He ran better in game 2.
  • Strickland looks fluid in the K-Raid as a runner and receiver.
  • Hills brings the banger element the Cardinals are currently missing.
  • If it’s a choice between any of these RBs and keeping WR Pharoh Cooper, I would keep Cooper.
  • I am confident that Foster, Strickland and Hills will pass through waivers and be available for the PS. The Cardinals can stash 1 or 2 of them there, if they so choose.
  • Choice—-I am thinking the Cardinals will add a RB via trade or waivers.

TE Ricky Seals-Jones vs. TE Darrell Daniels vs. TE Caleb Wilson vs. waiver claim

  • Seals-Jones is an added asset as a big target receiver now that Hakeem Butler is injured and WR Kevin White was waived.
  • Daniels is quietly impressing the coaches with his athleticism and versatility and is the best STs option of the three.
  • Wilson is probably the most gifted receiver of the three and he’s under team control for the next 4 years, but needs grooming. Wilson also might garner some waiver wire interest if he is cut (the Patriots are looking to add young talent a TE, for example).
  • While it might be a surprise move, if the coaches aren’t confident that Charles Clay is going to be able to be strong and healthy enough to play that they move on from him in favor of keeping Maxx Williams, 1 or 2 of the TE candidates about and/or a waiver claim.
  • Choice—-for me, I wouldn’t risk waiving Wilson—-there’s too much upside there.

WR Damiere Byrd vs. WR Pharoh Cooper vs. waiver wire claim vs. keeping only 6 WRs.

  • Byrd is getting a whole lot of 1st team reps. His 4.3 speed is an asset. Coming off subpar performance in game 2.
  • Cooper, on the other hand, is gaining momentum. He had his best showing in game 2. He brings stronger STs value.
  • There could be a number of intriguing waiver wire prospects and the Cardinals always seem to be honed in on WRs they like.
  • Choice—-I am leaning heavily toward Cooper and Byrd is PS eligible, so that helps.

T Korey Cunningham vs. T Joshua Miles vs. T Rees Odhiambo vs. T William Sweet vs. trade possibilities vs. waiver wire claim.

  • Cunningham has struggled more than expected thus far, but remains a physically gifted prospect. I think he belongs at LT and is fighting muscle memory at RT.
  • Miles’ stock is ascending after an excellent showing in game 2.
  • Odhiambo’s stock has been descending, following two weeks of subpar pass blocking.
  • Sweet graded out very well last week in his one series at RT.
  • Some possible trade or waiver wire targets: T Cedric Ogbuehi (Jaguars), T Josh Wells (Jaguars), T Eric Smith (Jets), T Elijah Wilkerson (Broncos), T Hala Vaitai (Eagles), T Cameron Fleming (Cowboys), T LaAdrian Waddle (Bills), T Ty Nsekhe (Bills), and T Cole Croston (Patriots).
  • Choice—-I would keep Miles and Cunningham and add Sweet to the PS. Imagine if the Sean Kugler could develop Miles and Cunningham as the starting tackles in 2020—-and how that could help the salary cap. They may be 7th round picks—-but hey Trent Brown was a recent 7th round pick and he now has a Super Bowl ring and a brand new 4 year $66M contract. Both Miles and Cunningham have the size and athleticism to be natural fits in the K-Raid.

G Colby Gossett vs. G Jeremy Vujnovich vs. waiver wire claim

  • Gossett showed some potential at times in his 4 starts last year and plays a physical brand of football. But, he’s hasn’t stood out in the pre-season.
  • Vujnovich brings veteran experience and has 18 starts the past two years, 16 with Colts in 2017 and 2 with Cardinals in 2018. He was solid at LG with 2nd/3rd unit in game 2.
  • The Cardinals have G/C Max Garcia on the IR and he should be eligible to come off it when he’s fully rehabbed and in good shape.
  • Choice—-I think the Cardinals are going to add another guard via the waiver wire.

Practice Squad Battle:

QB Chad Kanoff vs. QB Drew Anderson vs. waiver claim.

  • Kanoff played well in game 1 and had the sweet TD dime to Andy Isabella in game 2.
  • Anderson struggled some in game 1 but rebounded with a scoring drive in game 2 when he hit TE Caleb Wilson for the last second TD.
  • Choice—-while I acknowledge that Drew Anderson is more mobile and thus may be a better K-Raid fit, I like Chad Kanoff a lot as a rhythm passer. It’s close—-but right now I am sticking with Kanoff.

What choices would you make?