The Arizona Cardinals open training camp July 25 at the team’s stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Here’s a 53-man roster projection:
QB1 is a given. QB2 is as close to a shoe-in as possible. Murray, the first overall pick in this year’s draft, will be the Cardinals’ starting quarterback Week 1 against Detroit. His backup will be Hundley. Charles Kanoff will likely land on the practice squad until another team tries to poach him, and then he’ll be promoted to the active roster.
Johnson will be one of the bell cows for the Cardinals’ offense. Edmonds showed in OTAs and minicamp that he’s even more similar to Johnson this year than he was as a rookie last season. Logan is a big-bodied back who can bruise through the line for some yards. Foster is the only question, coming off an ACL injury suffered last preseason. Contrary to popular belief, new Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury likes using his running backs, but no one outside the locker room knows how he’ll use them in the NFL just yet.
It was clear from the drafting of three receivers this year that the position was an area of need, especially in Kingsbury’s offense. All three rookies will be ideal complements to Fitzgerald and Kirk, who’s coming off a broken foot. Cooper’s speed will land him on the roster, and White’s intimate knowledge of the offense should keep on the team if he can stay healthy.
Clay and Williams give the Cardinals a much-needed veteran presence in the locker room. Wilson was drafted because he can be highly productive in the right situation. Kingsbury recruited Seals-Jones, so he’s very familiar with his skill set.
The most intriguing position battle during camp will be between Shipley and Cole at center. Both will end up on the roster. The bottom of the offensive line room will be a turnstile of bodies, but Miles and Sweet bring a serious amount of athleticism with them.
With Arizona going back to a 3-4 scheme this year, the roster was basically already prefabricated to fit the defense -- one of the reasons Steve Wilks failed a year ago -- so expect a rotation beyond Peters, Gunter and Allen.
Like the defensive line, the linebackers will have their core outside pass-rushers and inside guys. Turner and Gardeck are valuable on special teams.
With Peterson suspended for six games for violation of the performance-enhancing drug policy, the Cardinals will likely rely on rookie Murphy to fill his Pro Bowl shoes. That’ll put more responsibility on corners and safeties such as Brock, Thompson and Shaw, who can prove during camp that they’re necessities for defensive coordinator Vance Joseph.
This is the most stable of the Cardinals units. Gonzalez is the shortest-tenured of the group, but it’s unlikely there’ll be any changes unless Gonzalez simply can’t make field goals or extra points in camp.