We spent all summer and the preseason predicting the Arizona Cardinals 53-man roster. Now that the roster has been “set,” and I say that in quotes because NFL rosters are never set, let’s project the depth chart heading into Week 1.
So, here is how the depth chart projection works. The players listed right after their respective position names are your projected starters, followed by the second string, and, if applicable, the third string.
There will be instances where the same player may back up both sides of a particular position, like defensive end. However, that player will have their name listed once, even if they are a swing backup.
Predicting the Arizona Cardinals depth chart
- Quarterback: Josh Dobbs, Clayton Tune
Josh Dobbs gets the starting nod and will lean on the dynamic duo of James Conner and Keaontay Ingram. And yes, I mean dynamic duo, but more on that in the next section. Meanwhile, Clayton Tune will see playing time if the Cards find themselves losing big or if they are winning by a wide margin.
- Running back: James Conner, Keaontay Ingram, Emari Demercado
James Conner and Keaontay Ingram are two backs you want to see for the run-first offense the Redbirds want to introduce. Emari Demercado won’t carry the rock often, but he could be used in passing situations later in the game.
- Wide receiver: Marquise Brown
- Wide receiver: Michael Wilson, Zach Pascal
- Slot Receiver: Rondale Moore, Greg Dortch
Marquise Brown is a crisp route runner, as is Rondale Moore, so even quarterbacks without the strongest arms like Josh Dobbs should get them the ball. Michael Wilson and Zach Pascal could be used in jump ball situations, while Dortch is another sound route-runner.
- Tight end: Zach Ertz, Trey McBride, Geoff Swaim, Elijah Higgins
While Zach Ertz reclaims his spot as the TE1, look for Trey McBride to see the field often as a potential H-back. Geoff Swaim will factor in as another blocking tight end, while Elijah Higgins provides depth early.
- Tackle: D.J. Humphries, Ilm Manning
- Guard: Elijah Wilkinson, Carter O’Donnell
- Center: Hjalte Froholdt, Trystan Colon, Keith Ismael
- Guard: Will Hernandez
- Tackle: Paris Johnson, Kelvin Beachum
The Arizona Cardinals strongly addressed their offensive line via the waiver wire following injuries to Dennis Daley and Jon Gaines II. D.J. Humphries and Paris Johnson will be maulers at the tackles, while Will Hernandez and Elijah Wilkinson will open the season at guard. Despite the Cards picking up a pair of centers on waivers, Hjalte Froholdt should be entrenched as the starter.