Arizona Cardinals: Defensive line camp preview

GLENDALE, AZ – OCTOBER 02: Quarterback Case Keenum

The Arizona Cardinals defensive line has a chance to be dominant in 2017

The one position for the Arizona Cardinals where it is a luxury to have eight or nice players that can play or start at any time is on the defensive line.  This season could find some of the young players on the line become dominant performers.

Going into training camp there are nine defensive tackles.  For the first time since 2007, one of them will not be Calais Campbell.  The veteran signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the offseason.

The Cardinals do however have second-year player Robert Nkemdiche, who many are looking to make his mark in 2017.  Fourth-year tackle Josh Mauro and third-year tackle Rodney Gunter also look to have big seasons.

Mauro has been a pleasant surprise and Gunter could end up being the best the player the Cardinals have drafted in the Bruce Arians era that no one ever heard of before joining the team. Apologies to receiver John Brown.

The Cardinals will see a lot of sacks from linebackers Chandler Jones and Markus Golden but don’t count out dominance from this line.  Gunter, Mauro, Nkemdiche all have the chance to be special.

Others on roster include fourth-year tackle Ed Stinson, 12th-year veteran Frostee Rucker, eighth- year player Corey Peters, first-year tackle Olsen Pierre, rookie Pasoni Tasini out of Utah, and third-year tackle Xavier Williams.

Honestly you could make a case for all of them to make the 53-man roster.  Look for at least seven of them to break camp.  It has been a position that typically sees two or three players on the inactive list each week during the season.

Roster predictions:

Starters: Nkemdiche, Peters, Gunter

Backups: Stinson, Williams, Mauro, Rucker

Practice Squad possibility: Tasini

Pierre didn’t get into any games last season.  His work is cut out for him to make this roster.  If the team decides to keep eight defensive tackles, then he would likely make the final 53-man roster.

Barring injury though, Pierre once again could find himself inactive a lot if that happens.  Thus what makes training camp so important for players like him.

This group is fairly solid, so if anyone gets cut, it will likely be Pierre and/or Tasini.