Arizona Cardinals: 53-man roster prediction before 2023 NFL Draft
By Sion Fawkes
What would the Arizona Cardinals 53-man roster look like if the NFL season started today? Here is the ultimate prediction before the 2023 Draft.
This roster prediction does NOT include players I projected to fall to them in my seven-round mock draft. Instead, the majority of this roster includes players already under contract for the Arizona Cardinals.
The upside I’ve noticed when concocting this lineup is that the roster isn’t as weak as many would like to believe. It’s by no means strong, but it has a strong foundation, which I believe was general manager Monti Ossenfort’s goal this offseason.
Add in a few solid draft picks, and the Cardinals may have something more than most figure for 2023. Not saying they’re going to be a good team by any means, but they most certainly won’t be a bad group.
Arizona Cardinals projected roster heading into the 2023 NFL Draft
Kyler Murray, David Blough, Colt McCoy, Jeff Driskel
At this time, the Arizona Cardinals will head into the 2023 season with four quarterbacks if it started today. With Kyler Murray still working his way back, the Cards would go with either David Blough or Colt McCoy as the starter, while Jeff Driskel serves as the third string.
James Conner, Keaontay Ingram, Corey Clement, Ty’Son Williams
James Conner is the undisputed starter while Keaontay Ingram gets another crack at making an impact on the Cardinals. Corey Clement and Ty’Son Williams would get some special teams/cameo looks.
Marquise Brown, Greg Dortch, Rondale Moore, Zach Pascal, Auden Tate, Andre Baccellia
Since I’m assuming DeAndre Hopkins gets traded, he’s not part of this troupe. Marquise Brown enters the season as the WR1 while Greg Dortch and Rondale Moore get work as the WR2 and slot receivers, respectively. Zach Pascal provides a larger target who would also see the field often with this lineup.
Trey McBride, Zach Ertz, Noah Togiai
My projected starter is Trey McBride while the aging Ertz slides into a backup role. Look for McBride to enjoy a leap in 2023. Ertz will still be productive, especially in the red zone.
D.J. Humphries, Dennis Daley, Hjalte Froholdt, Will Hernandez, Kelvin Beachum, Josh Jones, Elijah Wilkinsin, Lecitus Smith, Marquis Hayes
The Arizona Cardinals still don’t have a true center, so Hjalte Froholdt gets the gig. D.J. Humprhies returns as the tackle, while Dennis Daley gets the nod at left guard. Will Hernandez and Kelvin Beachum provide stability on the right.
Cameron Thomas, Myjai Sanders, Carlos Watkins, L.J. Collier, Leki Fotu, Rashard Lawrence, Kevin Strong, Eric Banks
Even without Will Anderson Jr. or Jalen Carter, this defensive line can be deceptive with Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders, both of whom were effective at times as rookies. Carlos Watkins and L.J. Collier could see work in the middle if the Arizona Cardinals move to a 4-3 alignment.
Zaven Collins, Isaiah Simmons, Kyzir White, Krys Barnes, Josh Woods, Zeke Turner
Easily the most talented unit on the team, Zaven Collins and Isaiah Simmons can take big steps in Years 3 and 4, respectively, with the latter also seeing time in the secondary. Kyzir White and Krys Barnes will be effective, while Josh Woods and Zeke Turner carve out roles on special teams.
Marco Wilson, Christian Matthew, Antonio Hamilton, Rashad Fenton, Kris Boyd, Nate Hairston
This prediction will change following draft weekend, with Marco Wilson potentially sliding into the CB2 spot while Christian Matthew, Antonio Hamilton, and Rashad Fenton battle it out to be nickel and dime corners. Kris Boyd will play special teams if he sticks to the roster.
Jalen Thompson, JuJu Hughes, Josh Thomas, Charles Washington
No, I didn’t forget to put Budda Baker on here. Judging from recent actions regarding players in this situation, they don’t show, so I’m not expecting Budda to be in the desert for any reason in 2023 unless his contract gets resolved, but that’s not a bad thing. Jalen Thompson will be the free safety, and the Cards will likely draft a strong safety at the end of the month. I did project them to bring back Charles Washington in the meantime.
Matt Prater, Joe Fortunato, Nolan Cooney
This one is rather straightforward. The aging Matt Prater returns while Joe Fortunato takes over long snapping duties, and Nolan Cooney succeeds Andy Lee.