Predicting 2016 Arizona Cardinals running back depth chart


The Arizona Cardinals suddenly are a force to be reckoned with on the ground

When the Arizona Cardinals only had one-100-yard game in 2014, it certainly wasn’t a huge surprise given the injury issues the Cardinals suffered.  The only 100-yard effort was by a guy from Utah State named Kerwynn Williams.  He really helped the Cardinals maintain some offensive balance down the stretch that season.

In 2015 it was a whole new ball game.  Suddenly, Andre Ellington was healthy, Chris Johnson had been signed as insurance to Ellington, and there was rookie David Johnson, a played compared to Ellington except bigger and more durable.  I haven’t even mentioned Stepfan Taylor but then again I don’t know if the Cardinals even remember they have him on the roster to be honest. Oh yeah and Williams couldn’t land on the roster until later in the season.

Going into 2016, the Cardinals will have some difficult decisions to make on some guys.  It’s a nice problem to have.

I would expect David Johnson to be the featured back in 2016.  Will that suit Chris Johnson though?  David Johnson rushed for 581 yards and six touchdowns.  He also had 457 yards receiving where he was just as big as a threat.

Then there is Ellington.  Will he be healthy enough to play a full season?  He once again injured himself after week one of the 2015 season and all of a sudden the Cardinals looked genius for having Chris Johnson in the fold to spell him.  Johnson then went on to rush for 814 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games.

Now add Williams and Taylor.  Oh and now also Marion Grice and Robert Hughes who were both re-signed after the season ended. That’s quite a list to figure out.

I think the depth chart will end up looking this way though:

  1. David Johnson
  2. Chris Johnson
  3. Andre Ellington
  4. Kerwynn Williams

Unfortunately I think Taylor is done in Arizona.  I liked what he did for the first two seasons in Arizona but he fell off the radar in 2015.  Grice will likely push Williams in training camp but I believe Williams is the better play here. Hughes is a good special teams player and that could get him added to the roster as a fifth back.  Taylor is a good special teams guy too but I think he can also provide another team more.