Arizona Cardinals: Six keys to success in 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 01: Carson Palmer
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 01: Carson Palmer /
4 of 7
GLENDALE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 11: Center A.Q. Shipley
GLENDALE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 11: Center A.Q. Shipley /

3. The offensive line experiences a successful coalescence.

The Cardinals’ offensive line experienced less off-season attrition than the defense. Unfortunately, there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding the offensive line’s prospects for 2017.

To begin, the Cardinals swapped bookends, moving D.J. Humphries to his natural left tackle position, and Jared Veldheer to right tackle. While this move may signal the beginning of the end for Veldheer, the success of the move is contingent upon Humphries’ development. If he lives up to his first-round pedigree, it will be a boon for the unit. If he falters, Veldheer will likely be back at left tackle before the end of the season.

Nothing is expected to change at left guard or center, where incumbents Mike Iupati and A.Q. Shipley are expected to retain their starting jobs. Right guard, on the other hand, is a position in flux. At present, Evan Boehm appears to be the odds-on-favorite to earn the starting spot.

But don’t be surprised if rookie guard Dorian Johnson makes a push for the spot. Johnson, who slid to the fourth round of the NFL draft due to concerns about a liver condition, was otherwise considered one of the top guards in the draft. In fact,’s draft profile for Johnson quotes a scout who described him as a “Ten-year starter in the league.”

Like the defense, the pieces are there to be successful. The questions are whether or not the players live up to their potential, and if the pieces gel into a cohesive unit.