- OK, Birdgang, it’s time to get out your favorite pencil and a pad of paper.
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to pick the Cardinals’ 53 man roster and 12 man practice squad as if game one was scheduled for next week.
In order to aid and abet your cause, here is Ourlad’s most recent depth chart for the Cardinals:
Plus, there are two recent signees not listed yet, whom you may choose to include: TE Bruno Lavelle (Cincinnati) and TE Bernhard Seikovits (Austria).
- Here are my picks, with explanations:
QB (2): Kyler Murray, Chris Streveler
PS (1): Cole McDonald
- Chris Streveler has more to offer the Cardinals than Colt McCoy. At this point on their careers, Strev’s a far better athlete and his play versus the Rams was pretty dang decent, especially under the circumstances.
- Cole McDonald is a superb choice for running the scout teams and, in time, could contend for the QB2 spot.
RB (3): Chase Edmonds, James Conner, Jonathan Ward
PS (1): Eno Benjamin
- Jonathan Ward is the best ST player and most well-rounded back.
- Eno Benjamin can be brought up to the main roster as the team’s kickoff returner.
WR (6): DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Rondale Moore, Andy Isabella, Christian Kirk, KeeSean Johnson.
WR (2): A.J. Richardson, JoJo Ward
- The plan is to use Rondale Moore early and often, which is why he’s listed as WR3. Andy Isabella is first WR behind Moore in the slot. The Cardinals might want to consider trading Christian Kirk for a TE like David Njoku.
- A.J. Richardson could take Trent Sherfield’s role, if and when needed. JoJo Ward has good potential in the slot.
TE (3): Maxx Williams, Darrell Daniels, Bruno Lavelle
TE (1*): Bernhard Seikovits
- Because of the considerable reciving talent at WR and RB, the Cardinals will likely put an emphasis on blocking and timely “sneak-out” routes at the TE position this year. Williams, Daniels and Lavelle all fit the profile. Lavelle’s game tapes at Cincy are impressive to watch.
- *Seikovits, as an IPP Program designee, can be added to PS without counting as one of the 12, as long as he does not get added at any time to the roster on game days—-thus they can keep him for a redshirt type of year, but, also, if they want to play him during the year they would just have to start counting him as one of the 12 PS players.
OL (9): D.J. Humphries, Justin Pugh, Rodney Hudson, Brian Winters, Kelvin Beachum, Josh Jones, Justin Murray, Max Garcia, Michal Menet
OL (3): Joshua Miles, Lamont Gaillard, Sean Harlow
- Because of Brian Winters’ chemistry with Kelvin Beachum, it’s very likely Winters will start at RG, with Justin Murray becoming the swing G/T, with Josh Jones as swing T/blocking TE and Max Garcia as swing G/C on game days. Because Michal Menet has more potential to be future starter at G, he gets the roster nod over Lamont Gaillard.
- T Miles, C Gaillard and G Harlow give the Cardinals three strong backups. G/T Koda Martin is very much in this picture as well.
NT (2):Leki Fotu, Rashard Lawrence
- Fotu is the starter and both he and Lawrence can also rotate in at the 34 DE spots.
- It would be reasonable to expect the team to re-sign Corey Peters and add him to the mix when he is rehabbed and ready to play.
34 DE (4): J.J. Watt, Zach Allen, Jordan Phillips, Michael Dogbe
PS (1): David Parry
- J.J. Watt and Zach Allen are the starters in the base 34, with Jordan Phillips being one of the main inside pass rushers on passing downs.
- Parry has 5 career sacks and can play 34 DE and NT.
ILB (5): Isaiah Simmons, Zaven Collins, Tanner Vallejo, Jordan Hicks, Zeke Turner
PS (1): Evan Weaver
- The 34 ILB tandem of Simmons and Collins should enable the Cardinals to get to the football quicker and to expand their variety of man and zone coverages.
- Evan Weaver could be this year’s D.J. Foster who gets added to the roster during the week in order to bolster the STs.
OLB (5): Chandler Jones, Dennis Gardeck, Markus Golden, Kylie Fitts, Victor Dimukeje
PS (1): Reggie Walker
- The Cardinals expect Dennis Gardeck to be ready to go come training camp. Gardeck has the athletic package to take over for Haason Reddick at SAM OLB, while Chandler Jones resumes his spot as BANDIT. Markus Golden should get rotated into the base and be a consistent factor as an edge on passing downs. Fitts and Dimukeje prove good depth and STs ability.
- Reggie Walker can be added to the roster if and when help is needed at SAM OLB. Shareef Miller could make his case for a PS spot with a strong pre-season.
CB (5): Malcolm Butler, Byron Murphy, Robert Alford, Marco Wilson, Tay Gowan
PS (1): Jace Whittaker
- While Butler and Murphy figure to play the vast majority of the snaps, it’s quite possible that Alford, Wilson and Gowan will be part of a CB rotation based on matchups.
- Jace Whittaker, if he corrects his holding habits, could make a strong case for covering the slot on game days.
S (6): Budda Baker, Jalen Thompson, Deionte Thompson, Charles Washington, Chris Banjo, James Wiggins
PS (1): Shawn Williams
- The young, talented quartet of Baker, J. Thompson, D. Thompson and Wiggins should allow Vance Joseph to employ a variety of 3 safety schemes.
- Shawn Williams can be added on game days to bolster STs and the safety depth.
ST (3): Aaron Brewer, Matt Prater, Andy Lee
- The veteran leadership here is impressive.
Your Turn: 53 Cherries and 12 Figs (*Bernhard Seikovits can be on PS and not count unless he plays in a regular season game).
- The easiest way is to copy and paste my picks and then delete the picks you wouldn’t make to add your own, while deleting my explanations and adding your own.
- The shortest way is to note which players you would delete from mine and which ones you would add.
GO CARDINALS 2021-2022!