Early, post-draft 53-man roster projection for Cardinals

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The Arizona Cardinals have added several free agents and have finished up the draft. A few undrafted rookies are reportedly being added to the 90-man roster as well.

They will begin to have their first practices of the offseason later this month.

While it is very early and we haven’t seen any of the new additions on the practice field yet, here is what the Cardinals’ 53-man roster could look like in Week 1.


Quarterback

Kyler Murray, Colt McCoy

The Cardinals kept three quarterbacks all last season, but Brett Hundley's contract was almost all guaranteed, so cutting him didn't make sense, even with Chris Streveler beating him out for the backup job to Murray. With the addition of McCoy this offseason, it seems unlikely that Streveler will make the roster this year. He is a wild card, though.

Running back

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Edmonds, James Conner, Jonathan Ward, Eno Benjamin

Edmonds and Conner are locks. Ward appears to be slated to replace D.J. Foster as a core special teamer, and he even got a few snaps late in the season. The unknown is Benjamin. Will he show enough to have a role in 2021? There are some other unproven runners on the roster as well.

Wide receiver

DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, Andy Isabella, KeeSean Johnson

The top four are locks. What remains to be seen is whether Isabella and Johnson will have value at the back end of the roster. Trent Sherfield is gone, so there is a special teams slot open to someone. There are other options on the roster as well.

Tight end

Maxx Williams, Darrell Daniels, Ian Bunting, Cary Angeline

This position doesn't feel complete. Williams and Daniels are more or less locks, but it feels like there will be another veteran added before training camp. Angeline is the undrafted rookie they reported have signed and paid a $30,000 signing bonus.

Offensive line

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

D.J. Humphries, Justin Pugh, Rodney Hudson, Brian Winters, Kelvin Beachum, Justin Murray, Josh Jones, Max Garcia, Lamont Gaillard

Seventh-round pick Michal Menet doesn't make the team. It would be hard with Hudson, Garcia and Gaillard on the roster. Murray and Jones are both tackle/guard swing players and Garcia and Gaillard are center/guard swing players.

Defensive line

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

J.J. Watt, Jordan Phillips, Zach Allen, Rashard Lawrence, Leki Fotu, David Parry

The last spot is really the one up for grabs. Parry has starting experience at nose tackle. He was a starter two years for the Indianapolis Colts.

Outside linebacker

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Chandler Jones, Devon Kennard, Markus Golden, Victor Dimukeje (Dennis Gardeck PUP)

Gardeck will most certainly begin the season on PUP, as he is coming off a late-season ACL tear. It is a surprise that Kennard is still on the roster because of his contract, but he really is the perfect base OLB. And Markus Golden's contract is not that of a guaranteed starter, so as of now, Kennard is penciled in. Dimukeje would replace Kylie Fitts, but that spot is definitely wide open.

Inside linebacker

Jordan Hicks, Isaiah Simmons, Zaven Collins, Tanner Vallejo, Zeke Turner

This has zero surprises. It will be virtually impossible for a player like 2020 sixth-round pick Evan Weaver to crack this group. Vallejo's contract is mostly guaranteed and Turner's too. Both are also core special teamers.

Cornerback

Malcolm Butler, Byron Murphy, Robert Alford, Marco Wilson, Tay Gowan

This is another position where a veteran could get added, especially if Alford gets injured again. Both draft picks are slated to be on the roster and will start by playing special teams, although they could get some playing time on defense.

Safety

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Budda Baker, Jalen Thompson, Shawn Williams, Charles Washington, James Wiggins

The safety competition will be intriguing. Baker and Thompson are locks as the starters. Then there will be likely three slots available for five players. Deionte Thompson and Chris Banjo are the odd men out right now, assuming Wiggins is what we think he can be.

Specialists

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Matt Prater (K), Andy Lee (P), Aaron Brewer (LS)

These players are all locks. 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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