Here is my one and only prediction of the 53-man roster come this weekend, with the usual caveats — no injuries in the last preseason game, no trades that come down (that glut of defensive linemen looms big). I wish I could say over the years that once or twice I have nailed this exactly, but I have not. Nevertheless — to paraphrase the great Herm Edwards — once it doesn’t matter, get out. Retire.
QB (2) — Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton. This was my guess at this time last year, undercut by a trade for Matt Barkley. I don’t see Barkley sticking, so the Cards will need a practice squad QB. Barkley would be eligible, but they could look elsewhere.
RB (4) — David Johnson, Chris Johnson, Andre Ellington, Stepfan Taylor. I could see Elijhaa Penny on the practice squad. Kerwynn Williams has proven he can play in this league, but I believe his practice squad days have run out.
WR (6) — Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown, Jaron Brown, J.J. Nelson, Brittan Golden. Golden’s special teams work slides him in late. Plus it gives you a veteran to help if John Brown needs more time to get ready.
TE (3) — Darren Fells, Jermaine Gresham, Troy Niklas. This is one spot the Cards go lighter to help in other areas. They have some practice squad candidates too.
OL (9) — T Jared Veldheer, G Mike Iupati, C A.Q. Shipley, G Evan Mathis, T D.J. Humphries, OL Earl Watford, C Evan Boehm, G Cole Toner, T John Wetzel. This is a group that could change based on who might be available after cuts. I could see the Cards looking for a backup tackle still. Watford’s versatility will help.
DL (8) — Calais Campbell, Corey Peters, Rodney Gunter, Ed Stinson, Xavier Williams, Frostee Rucker, Josh Mauro, Robert Nkemdiche. They really like having Red Bryant around, and that could provide a surprise. But Xavier Williams has had a good camp too, and all things being equal, Williams is younger.
OLB (4) — Chandler Jones, Markus Golden, Kareem Martin, Alex Okafor. Pretty straightforward. They’ll need someone for the practice squad. Might Shaq Riddick get a chance there? Tristan Okpalaugo is also eligible.
ILB (and $LB, because I know you don’t want to be called an ILB, Deone) (4): Deone Bucannon, Chris Clemons, Kevin Minter, Alani Fua. The wild card in all this is undrafted rookie Lamar Louis. If he excels, he could snare a fifth spot here, which of course would mean taking someone off elsewhere.
CB (5) — Patrick Peterson, Brandon Williams, Justin Bethel, Cariel Brooks, Harlan Miller: The Cards will be seeking help elsewhere. Miller is right on the fringe, a player who could be in or out based on other decisions.
S (5) — Tyrann Mathieu, Tony Jefferson, Tyvon Branch, D.J. Swearinger, Marqui Christian. The Cards have a good bunch here, especially when Mathieu is feeling completely like himself again. Will be interesting to see how many guys are used in sub-packages, especially if the concern at cornerback remains.
ST (3) — K Chandler Catanzaro, P Drew Butler, LS Kam Canaday. No questions here.
Posted in Blog | 46 Comments »