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Pre-Season Week 2: Cardinals’ 53 Man Roster Projection

Denver Broncos v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Background: GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 11: Running back Ty’Son Williams #22 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a reception against linebacker Justin Strnad #40 of the Denver Broncos during the second half of the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on August 11, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

Ty’Son Williams was one of the stars of the Cardinals’ exciting 18-17 victory over the Broncos.

I will provide and in-depth analysis of the game on this week’s Red Rain Podcast which is scheduled to be taped on Monday morning.

53 Man Roster Projection (8/12/2023)

Note: Players who were not on last week’s projection are highlighted in BOLD

Offense (25):

  • QB (3): 12-Colt McCoy; 15-Clayton Tune; 17-David Blough
  • RB (3): 6-James Conner; 22-Ty’Son Williams; 31-Emari Demercado
  • TE (4): 85-Trey McBride*; 81-Noah Togiai; 84-Geoff Swaim; 47-Blake Whitehart (PUP: 86-Zach Ertz)
  • OL (10): 74-D.J. Humphries; 65-Elijah Wilkinson; 72-Hjalte Froholdt; 76-Will Hernandez; 70-Paris Johnson Jr.; 65-Kelvin Beachum; 79-Josh Jones; 71-Dennis Daley*; 50-Pat Elflein; 59-Jon Gaines II
  • WR (5): 2-Marquise Brown; 14-Michael Wilson; 83-Greg Dortch; 4-Rondale Moore; 0-Zach Pascal;


  • Kyler Murray —- if he is going to remain on the PUP list for the first 4 weeks, then David “The Closer” Blough is making a good case to make the roster
  • Keonatay Ingram —- currently not practicing due to injury*
  • Ty’Son Williams —- has the quickest feet on the unit
  • Emari Demercado- shows up big at State Farm Stadium
  • Dennis Daley —- currently getting 1st team reps at the LG spot in competition with Elijah Wilkinson
  • Marquis Hayes —- missed a couple of block early, but, adjusted and played very well after that and should be in the hunt for one of the roster spots. Right now he remains on the bubble.
  • OL —- because the Cardinals’ depth up front here is strong, it’s very likely that MOJO will keep the top 10 or perhaps trade one of the top 10 if they receive good value.
  • WR Andre Baccellia is having a very good camp and is making a strong case as WR6, but it may be tough when two slot receivers, Dortch and Moore, are ahead of him.
  • TE Blake Whiteheart —- making a strong case for the roster at a position that needs depth

Defense (25):

  • DI (6): 90-Rashad Lawrence; 95-Leki Fotu; 93-Jonathan Ledbetter; 91-L.J. Collier; 94-Carlos Watkins; 98-Dante Stills
  • ILB (5): 7-Kyzir White; 51-Josh Woods; 44-Owen Pappoe; 56-Krys Barnes; 47-Ezekiel Turner
  • Edge (6): 25-Zaven Collins; 45-Dennis Gardeck; 97-Cameron Thomas; 41-Myjai Sanders*; 43-Jesse Luketa; 18-B.J. Ojulari
  • CB (4): 20-Marco Wilson; 13-Kei’Trel Clark; 35-Christian Matthew; 33-Antonio Hamilton Jr.; (PUP: 21-Garrett Williams)
  • S (4): 3-Budda Baker; 9-Isaiah Simmons; 34-Jalen Thompson; 38-Javonte Moffatt


  • DT/DE Kevin Strong, with his run stuffing ability, has a good chance to make the 53 man roster. However, DT Dante Stills brings an inside pass rushing talent that JG/NR currently covet.
  • LB Ezekiel Turner is a standout on special teams and, imo, an under-rated LB.
  • OLB/DE Myjai Sanders is currently injured.
  • OLB Jesse Luketa’s disruptiveness on the edge and his special teams’ ability give him a very good chance to not only make the roster, but to be active on game days.
  • Interesting how JG/NR are giving the bulk of 1st team reps at CB2 to Kei’Trel Clark and Christian Matthew. Thus, one has to wonder whether veterans Antonio Hamilton Jr. and/or Rashad Fenton will show up big-time in the pre-season games. Hamilton showed up well versus Broncos. Not sure what’s going on with Fenton, who, when healthy, is talented.
  • S Javonte Moffatt stood out on the defense and on STs

Thank you, Andy Kwong!

Special Teams (3):

  • LS (1): 46-Aaron Brewer
  • K (1): 5-Matt Prater
  • P (1): 16-Nolan Cooney


  • LS Aaron Brewer won the job over Jack Coco (recently released)
  • K Matt Prater settled down after early FG shank
  • P Matt Haack is a savvy veteran and a lefty (something Bill Belichick has long believed would give his coverage team an advantage). Word is that Haack and Nolan Cooney are neck and neck at this point. However, Haack had a rough game this week.
NFL: Preseason-Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Background: Aug 11, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons (9) and Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. (70) and Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (74) react during the game against the Denver Broncos at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale

How many of this week’s 53 do you agree/ disagree with?