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Roster math heading into the draft

Posted by Darren Urban on April 27, 2015 – 10:25 am

Crunching the numbers heading into the draft, the Cardinals currently have 72 players on their roster. With eight draft picks (for now), that leaves room for 10 undrafted rookies to be signed to reach the roster limit of 90 going into offseason work. (Phase 2, which is the first step of on-field stuff during the offseason, begins next week.) This does not include suspended linebacker Daryl Washington; if Washington were to be reinstated by the NFL, the Cardinals would have to find a roster spot for him if they did not release him. I still think it’s hard to believe they would release him after just paying him a $5 million bonus installment he was owed, but we’ll see.

There is a lot of room to maneuver with the roster, however. If they Cardinals trade for more draft picks — or trade away some of them — then the number of undrafted guys could shrink or grow. There is also a possibility the Cardinals could cut players already on the roster to make room for more undrafted rookies if the Cards feel they have a chance to improve the bottom section of the roster. That happened last year when a few guys were cut right after the draft.

The roster churn never ends with GM Steve Keim. He’s proven that. But we’re almost to the point where we will know the vast majority of the Cardinals’ roster for 2015. That’s when the football actually starts.

 


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34 Responses to “Roster math heading into the draft”

  1. By Whitey on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    If you look at the projected 53 man roster not including Daryl Washington. The spots that have room for replacements assuming no injuries during preseason are:

    Need a 4th Corner:
    Locks to make roster: Peterson, Powers, Bethel

    Need Upgrade for Josh Mauro on DL:
    Locks: Campbell, Stinson, Rucker, Shaughnessy, Redding, Peters, Ta’Amu

    Possible Upgrades on OL for Steen, Sowell, Watford
    Locks: Larsen, Shipley, Iupati, Cooper, Massie, Veldheer,

    Upgrades at Inside Linebacker for Carson and Demens
    Locks: Minter, Weatherspoon, Foote if he wants to play

    Upgrade at Outside Linebacker for Alexander
    Locks: Okafor, Woodley, Martin

    Need upgrade at Running back for Taylor, Williams, Hughes, Grice
    Locks: Ellington

    Need upgrade at TE for Bolser, and Carlson
    Locks: Fells and Niklas

    Need upgrade at 4th, 5th WR/ Returner for Brittan Golden, Jaron Brown
    Locks: Fitz, Floyd, John Brown,

    No need: 3 QB, 4 Safety, punter, kicker, LS

    That puts the roster at 38 spots basically locked up barring injury. That means there’s 145roster spots that could be upgraded by draft picks and UFA’s who could make an impact on this roster.

  2. By Whitey on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    I meant 15 available roster spots

  3. By Eric G on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    Can’t wait to see who the new Cardinals will be this weekend.

    God I hope Randy Gregory, who ESPN mocked to us, does not happen. We already have a LB with mary jane issues, don’t need another who’s too stupid not to smoke before the combine. That, and the fact that we might get Kikaha in the third.

  4. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    As the draft approaches, teams have their boards together and values of players. Here is my attempt of my top 24 if I was a GM.
    This is not a mock draft.

    1) Leonard Williams – I believe is the best player in the draft since January. Will make any team better.

    2) Amari Cooper – speed, route running, hands.

    3) Vic Beasley – at 226, he wouldn’t be this high, but being 246 and running and doing drills the way he did, he is the top edge rusher.

    4) Dante Fowler – He is a solid player, he does everything well, but doesn’t have the burst Beasley does.

    5) Arik Armstead – Huge 3-4 DE who reminds me of CC.

    6) Kevin White – Could be the #2 rated player if I added in potential. Something scares me about him. Not sure why.

    7) Danny Shelton – The quickness of Ngata, which will keep him on the field on passing downs. Will collapse a pocket.

    8) Todd Gurley – Difference maker

    9) Brandon Scherff – If he was a LT, he would be a top 3 player. A Mauler who will be a guard.

    10) Trae Waynes – A guy who can be a #1 CB

    11) Landon Collins – a guy who will make receivers think twice about coming over the middle.

    12) Randy Gregory – great athlete who smokes pot too much. His risk drops him out of my top 10.

    13) Jamies Winston – Love everything on the field. Don’t trush him off the field. Just can’t be a top 10 player.

    14) Shane Ray – great pass rusher but can he set the edge on the run? Drops because he may be a pass rush specialist at first.

    15) Marcus Marriota – No way is he rated in the top 5 of this draft. But in a QB needy league, he will go high.

    16) Jalen Collins – Reminds me of Antonio Cromartie

    17) Devante Parker – big fast receiver. Some compare him to Floyd

    18) Breshad Perriman – World class athlete and good hands

    19) Melvin Gordon – Big, fast, has good moves and a ton of production.

    20) Malcom Brown – Could play nose, but will be a big powerful and quick 5 technique. Would be a nice addition to a 3-4 team.

    21) Eli Harold – Athletic, fast and can dip to get the edge

    22) Bud Dupree – Seems to fit the part, but I haven’t seen enough.

    23) DJ Humphries – Big guy that can move. First LT off the board. Because of that, he could go higher than rated.

    24) La’el Collins – Could be an all pro guard. Might kick out to RT.

    Looking at my board and where the cardinals pick, I could see the less than sexy pick of La’el Collins. I do think it is possible for Harold to fall, in which I would pick him.

    Winston is going to go #1 and Mariotta won’t be far behind. So that will change up the board and since I see only 1 LT in the top 24, that could push Humphries up.

    I could see the wr group dropping since the draft is so deep. I really see very little between say Parker and Strong (my #25 rated player). I also love Kevin Johnson, who will most likely find his way up the board (my 26th player)

  5. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    Darren and anyone who wants to respond,

    If you were Coach Whiz, and the trade was offered as rumored, would you trade the #2 overall pick for Phillip Rivers?

  6. By Darren Urban on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Trade

    In the end, it depends on what my overall thinking might be. Don’t know what they think of Mariota, or Leonard Williams.

    On the surface — essentially, if you are asking me if I would trade Mariota for Rivers — I would.

  7. By Whitey on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    I think Whiz would have to make that trade. He’d be able to win immediately in Tennessee and hopefully keep his job. Whiz is not the kind of guy who wants to taylor his offense to fit a guy like Mariota, which means Mariota is a long term project at best while he develops typical under center skills.

    The question is whether the Chargers are dumb enough to give up their franchise quarter back.

  8. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG:

    No, but a 2, just like for AP.

    Report re Cards last team standing re possible AP trade, in theory would happen Thurs nite/Friday am if Cards offer 2 or 2+, don’t draft RB and allowed overnight to negotiate restructure to $24M guaranteed 3 yrs. Fwiw, I’d do it…my bet is won’t happen, but difference maker just the same so worth the dream….

    Would like fastest, most athletic DE in round 1, if falls, as speed rushers likely gone… don’t know who this guy is though…

  9. By sbrown on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG & Whitey –

    IMO if offered I think SD would try to do the trade. Rivers already stated he does not want to play in LA ( and that is another issue that SD is dealing with ) Whiz already knows Rivers, he would be closer to family back in the Tennessee area and Whiz gets a vet QB to work around.

    With Whiz poor record so far in Tenn, he better win 8 – 9 games this year or he is going to get fired. Rivers would give him a much better chance to do that.Tenn just signed H. Nicks to help the WR, they have a good O line and a three headed RB room with Stankey / Green / McCluster. Also good ol Charlie Whitehurst is a back up QB, a long time team mate of Rivers in SD.

    With D. LeBeau to work some magic on defense, Whiz might have something cookin in Tenn.

  10. By Andy Kw on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    Trade 5th round pick for Dion Jordan

  11. By Andy Kw on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    Shane Ray would be put for 5 months. Hmm, but still worth the risk.

  12. By Steve . on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    Darren: Any remote chance you could sneak into the Cards draft room make like a fly on the wall and report up to the minute strategy going on for all us fans?…Lol

  13. By Scott H on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    Folks, it is up on NFL.com right now, via Ian Rappaport, that the Cowboys are OUT of the picture for AP and if there is ONE team out there that may tempt the Vikings into a trade, that ONE team would be the Arizona Cardinals. The story goes on to say what I’ve been saying all along which is that adding AP to what the Cardinals already have on offense would seem to put them right there with Seattle or anyone else in the NFC.

    Could this actually happen???

  14. By much.faster on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    the rivers trade? yes, i think it could happen, if it is a three way trade, bradford and murray fpr mariota and a second round pick between the eagles and the titans, and then bradford and murray for rivers and a thrird round pick between the titans and chargers..

    AP trade to us? if AP comes for a second round pick, and if he plays for a base salary for 6 mio, yes, i would like it, ortherwise no.

    the team could pay him even up to beast mode money, but only as incentives, for a superbowl.

  15. By Big Ken on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    Shane Ray needs to be taken off our ‘Top 130’ list. Never was high on him (no pun intended).

  16. By Andy Kw on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    I expect our 2015 Mr. Irrelevant to be a Pro Bowler. Whoever it is, he will shock the world

  17. By much.faster on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    @JTDG, let me explain, why i expect a mariota deal, which includes the titans.

    if the titans trade mariota and a second round draft pick to the eagles, and get bradford, tebow and murray, and then trade them to the chragers, for rivers and a thrid round pick, each team gets the best of it.

    the titans get their QB, and whiz and rivers have proven, they can winn games together. whiz has a bit of a bad reputation from his last years in arizona, and the first in tennessee was`n to good too, but give him a proven QB, like warner or rivers, and a good defense coordinator, and don`t let him draft, and he will win.

    the titans would give a second round pick to the eagles, take a third round pick, trade mariota for rivers, and get their QB, and with lebeau they could be immediatley contenders.

    the chargers would give rivers (who doesn`t want to stay) and a third round pick for bradford, tebow and murray, there is a bit of a risk, but if bradfrod stays healthy, they could also be immediately contenders. and a happy bradford is much better then a unhapppy rivers, with a contract for a year. and additional, mike mccoy would get a backup, tebow, which whom he has proven, he can winn, if bradford is again injured.

    and the eagles? kelly could get mariota, without mortgaging the house for it. they would trade three players (bradfrod, tebow, murray), who have not played a game for them, and would get additional a second round pick.

    and everyone is happy,

  18. By Duane Spencer on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    Probably going against the grain on this one, but would love to see Cameron Erving be our pick at 24. I think we would suddenly have about the best OL in the league. But honestly, have no idea whatsoever as to which way we are going on this draft. One of the first times I’ve ever been completely in the dark regarding the Cards on draft day….

  19. By Sackman on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    Lets try this for a bold prediction:

    Arizona trades back the #24 pick with New England for the 32nd pick and acquire an extra 3rd round pick.

    Arizona then gives up the 32nd pick and their 4th or 5th round pick to Minnesota for say Adrian Peterson.

    We get AP and keep our 2nd round pick with our 2 3rd round picks.

    What you think Darren? Bold or Sounds possible?

  20. By Darren Urban on Apr 28, 2015 | Reply

    Sackman —

    RE: Trade

    1) Why would the Pats want to trade up? They never trade up and they certainly don’t give away picks.
    2) The part about the Peterson trade that suddenly has disappeared from the conversation from everyone — you have to deal with the contract first. And I don’t see that happening. Without that, the rest is moot.

  21. By georgiebird on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    @JTDG
    Rivers’ arm is shot.

  22. By Coach K on Apr 27, 2015 | Reply

    Andy KW

    Shane Ray would be an absolute steal if he fell to pick #24

    As I see it, the magic number is 6

    We must take a player from each of these positions:

    Cornerback
    Offensive Tackle
    Defensive Tackle
    Edge rusher DE or OLB
    Running back
    Inside linebacker

    The last two picks can be best available athletes regardless of position.

    If the picks fall and we cover the top 6 needs, I’m a happy camper.

  23. By Dr. G. on Apr 28, 2015 | Reply

    Jtdg….. Re: Rivers for the #2 pick? I posted before that unless ownership INSISTS, I just do not see JLicht taking Winston… I know that goes against everything on every board. Winston presents issues of denial and entitlement that can be the proverbial rotten apple in the bushel. When Winston gets in with the big boys, he will not get respect if he cannot earn it. That will be hard for him as he will come in with a good degree of narcissism. A surprise may be coming for the 1st pick.

    Darren…..Do you know Licht well enough to take a guess on his thoughts? Whiz will do anything if he thinks it will keep his job… I am guessing that despite having perhaps only a few years left, he will jump at Rivers since he knows he comes with guaranteed performance. Trading 3 years possibly for a rookie that could play 13 years has a gamble for both sides of the transaction… be well

  24. By Darren Urban on Apr 28, 2015 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: QBs

    Nothing I have heard tells me the Bucs have soured on Winston enough not to take him. So I think they take him as the best QB available.,

    As for Rivers, I could see him playing another 5 years. To me, with so much unknown about what Mariota could be — he is not Luck — makes it worth it if I am Whiz.

  25. By jeffcardinalfan on Apr 28, 2015 | Reply

    I usually only post once or twice a yr…with draft 2 days away, here goes…ten makes trade with sd if sd oks it…whiz has a thing abouit having his qb…in this case it makes perfect sense and sd will regret it…mariota n Winston will both flop iinmho…how many cannon-armed qb’s from superior college teams wit offfield issues have to flop b4 nfl teams begin to pass on them as hi draft pics? how many spread offense qb’s have failed and how many have succeeded?? having said that both Winston n mariota will b off the board in first 10 pics…ok, on to cards… its very tempting to try to trade 4 ap-especially as carson n fitz have only a few yrs lft-this only works if new dc can work bowles like magic n keep d at level it has been…losing docket n Cromartie is gonna hurt, not to mention losing dan Williams. trading 4 ap would allow cards to focus on dl n pass rusher in drafts early rounds…another draft note: I wouldn’t touch Gregory with a ten ft pole…I would also pass on shane ray in first rd…I live in Missouri n have seen every snap he played during his career…inmho marcus giolden will be a better nfl player…gurley or Gordon cud b steal of the draft…I lean towards Gordon as I think gurley is an injury prone-beastmode guy…I see cards season going 2 ways: if carson n ellington (n everybody else) stay healthy n if they get a rb and if d doesn’t collapse-they beat patriots n sb(I have picked brady to win sb the last 7 08 yrs-i wud take him over every other player n league…if none of the above work out it cud b a loooong season…arians job is safe but cards better have another qb on he roster next year…I wud not b unhappy if cards take Bryce petty in 3rd rd

  26. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Apr 28, 2015 | Reply

    Shane Ray, exactly what Cards don’t need…what a break for him to reveal his true self in such a timely fashion…did we dodge a bullet? maybe… most stoners don’t have the guts of Tyrann Mathieu to rise up

  27. By jeffgollin on Apr 28, 2015 | Reply

    All of which drives home the point -There are two different draft Boards: (1) How SK ranks his top 130 players. (2) How other teams rank their prospects and where these players actually come off the board.

    It is at this junction between the two boards where the top guy available after #23 could be, say, the #10 guy on Steve’s board and where we could get real value – at least that should be the hope.

    That’s what makes the draft so much fun (& so hard to predict). And when you try to mock all 7 rounds each of the 32 boards differ so much with one another that projecting it all the way to Pick #256 becomes all but impossiible.

  28. By azdesertrat1953 on Apr 28, 2015 | Reply

    Come on Thursday, so I do not have to read all this FANTASY Draft stuff!

    GO CARDS!!!

  29. By Coach K on Apr 28, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    Shane Ray now being mocked to late round two, or early round three.

    How stupid can these guys be?

    He just cost himself at least a guaranteed $8 million bucks. Maybe more!

    The question for you Darren, would Keim take in with pick #55?

  30. By Darren Urban on Apr 28, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K —

    RE: Ray

    Not sure how they had him graded in the first place. Still not positive he falls out of first round.

  31. By Andy Kw on Apr 28, 2015 | Reply

    Had Jordan not been suspended, a 5th Rd pick for him would have been worth it.

  32. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 28, 2015 | Reply

    As I stated in my rankings above, Shane Ray’s ability to come off the edge is what every NFL team wants.

    But his lack of ability to set the edge might turn him into a situational pass rusher.

    I have him rated as my 14th guy because it is a passing league and you must get to the QB. I also take into account his speed at OLB.

    I think if you have the choice between a solid player who you can count on (Eli Harold) and Ray (with the drug issues) , you may break your board and go with the safer pick.

    So, if the cards (for sake of argument) have him rated 14th like I do, and he falls to 24th, while also Harold (who I have rated 21st) is there also, it will be interesting if they take the lower rated guy who is safer.

    I know after the draft, they would say we had Harold rated higher and we will never know the truth, but it will be interesting what they do if that situation presented its self.

  33. By Richard S on Apr 28, 2015 | Reply

    I think this is the year the Cardinals win it all as the numbers are there. Adrian Wilson’s number was 24 and the Cardinals draft 24th overall. Also if you reverse the number 24 you get 42 which was the answer to the Ultimate Question on Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy. I think I’ll head to Reno and put some $$ down.

  34. By cards62 on Apr 29, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG

    WHIZ WILL BE VERY SMART TO TRADE FOR RIVERS. HE NEEDS A MATURE AND INTELLIGENT QB WHO CAN RUN THE OFFENSE LIKE WARNER TO BE SUCCESSFUL. THIS MOVE COULD SECURE HIS JOB FOR 4 TO 5 YEARS.

    ElL HAROLD OVER SHANE RAY FOR ME AS I AM TIRED OF ALL THE DRAMA AND HE WAS NOT ONLY SMOKING POT A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE DRAFT BUT HE WAS BEHIND THE WHEEL AND SPEEDING – MAGOR MATURITY PROBLEM-

    LOVE THE DRAFT AND UNDRAFTED SIGNINGS. MY NUMBER ONE HOPE IS FOR PETERSON OR GURLEY. i AM WORRIED ABOUT OUR DEFENSE SO HOPE MAJORITY OF OUR PICKS ARE ON THAT SIDE OF THE BALL, STRONG OFFENSE OF COURSE ALSO HELPS OUR DEFENSE.

    GO CARDS

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