Arizona Cardinals: Early Roster Predictions – RB


OTA’s start this week for the Arizona Cardinals and one position of great interest is running back

The Arizona Cardinals and running game went together as well as peanut butter and pizza last season.  The Cardinals finished 31st in rushing in the NFL in 2014.  It was not for a lack of talent.

The problem was injury, lack of durability, and trying to take advantage of a successful passing game.  Injury and durability though had they been existent then there would have been more of a balanced offensive attack.

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Here is who is on the roster at running back right now for the Cardinals: Andre Ellington, Marion Grice, Robert Hughes, David Johnson, Paul Lasike, Stepfan Taylor, Kerwynn Williams

Seven running backs on the 90-man roster right now.  The Cardinals will probably keep four of these guys.  I can’t see them keeping any less because of past injury and durability issues.

Who makes the roster:

Andre Ellington – The Cardinals need him to practice.  That was his biggest issue last year, not being able to practice during the week.  He rushed 201 times for 660 yards in 2014.  He had three rushing touchdowns.  He also caught 46 passes for 395 yards and two touchdowns.  His injured foot at least allowed him to be on the sidelines on Sunday’s however a sports hernia ended his season with still a month to go.  Let’s hope 2015 is a completely different story.

David Johnson – Drafted by the Cardinals out of Northern Iowa in the 2015 NFL Draft.  He is the perfect big back compliment to Ellington.  He, like Ellington, can catch the ball as well as run.  Look for him to get close to as many touches as Ellington this season.

Stepfan Taylor – He has just 203 yards on 68 carries for a 3.3 average-per-carry in 2014.  He had one rushing touchdown but had three receiving touchdowns.  There should still be a spot for him as a relief back but he is not one that can carry the load or even split carries.  He just isn’t that type of back.

Kerwynn Williams – How do you not see what else this guy can do?  He rushed for 100, 75, and 67 yards in three of his four games played in 2014.  The other game he rushed for just four yards on two carries.  That was because the Cardinals fell behind and almost exclusively had to pass against the Seattle Seahawks in a 35-6 loss.

Bubble: Marion Grice, Robert Hughes

Sure, I could see either one of these guys making the roster, I just see the other four guys having a better chance.  What Hughes can provide I can see Johnson being able to provide as well and probably better.  Grice will probably hang around camp until last cuts, until the Cards are absolutely sure about what they have and what they need going into the season.  I just don’t think he is the answer going forward.

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