These Cardinals’ roles, roster spots in danger after NFL draft

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The Arizona Cardinals added seven players in the 2021 NFL draft last month. Some of the players will be expected to contribute immediately. As a result, some older players are in danger of losing playing time while others’ roster spots are far from certain.

Who are the players whose roles or roster spots are now in danger with this draft class?


LB Jordan Hicks

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First-round pick Zaven Collins was drafted to replace him. It is a matter of when and not if Collins will take Hicks' starting job. Hicks is one of defensive coordinator Vance Joseph's most trusted players but general manager Steve Keim made it clear. Collins is expected to play. Collins will have a specific role to start the season for sure, but it is only a matter of time before he is on the field for 100% of the team's defensive snaps.

WR Andy Isabella

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The short and speedy Isabella has to know the writing is on the wall, as the Cardinals selected a small and speedy receiver in the second round in Rondale Moore. Moore is the other player the Cardinals expect to play early and often. His role on gadget plays, in the return game and as a fourth receiver are all the things Isabella was supposed to thrive at. His roster spot is perhaps in danger. His playing time certainly is.

WR Christian Kirk

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Kirk is in no danger of being released. However, if he doesn't stay healthy this year, he might get Wally Pipp'd. Kirk is in the final year of his contract and is slated to play in the slot full time now that the Cardinals added A.J. Green in free agency. But if Moore is as good as everyone hopes, he could also take snaps from Kirk.

CB Robert Alford

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Alford is slated to be one of the three cornerbacks who play. However, the Cardinals drafted two cornerbacks on Day 3 — Marco Wilson and stay Gowan. They are high on both and feel they can become starters. If Wilson develops quickly, Alford could be replaced, especially if he has issues with his health again.

LB Kylie Fitts

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Fitts is no lock for the roster anyway but did give the Cardinals some snaps on defense and play on special teams. Sixth-round pick Victor Dimukeje appears to be an upgrade. If he makes the roster, Fitts likely does not.

S Deionte Thompson

Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cardinals have a fun competition at safety this offseason, but it will be for the bench spots. Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson are the starters. With the addition of seventh-round pick James Wiggins, they get special teams play and upside on defense. Thompson is not the special teams ace that Shawn Williams, Chris Bajo or Charles Washington are. Wiggins will likely replace one of them or Thompson, especially if Wiggins can play with the confidence he had in 2018 before tearing his ACL. Listen to the latest from Cards Wire's Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify. Latest show:

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