The Arizona Cardinals are a mixed bag on defense, and that is to put things generously. Sure, their defensive backfield can be one outstanding unit, but question marks linger at EDGE, inside linebacker, and defensive line.
That said, trying to figure out who will start where, and who will even remain with the team come the final cutdown in 2023 is anyone’s guess, and what you see in this projection below can be way, way, way off. But at least we have a starting point in Part II of our depth chart projection.
If you missed Part I, which outlined the final depth chart projections for the offense, you can view it here. But if you’ve already checked it out and you’re ready to see what’s in store regarding Part II, keep reading.
Arizona Cardinals depth chart projection for 2023 - Defense and Special Teams
- DE: L.J. Collier, Jonathan Ledbetter
- NT: Rashard Lawrence, Leki Fotu
- DT: Carlos Watkins, Dante Stills
L.J. Collier is a former first round pick, so there is hope that he can turn things around in a new system. Rashard Lawrence remains as the starting nose tackle, and he has the potential to turn in a decent season if he can finally stay healthy. Jonathan Ledbetter and Leki Fotu are a pair of veterans who can factor in as the primary backups at their respective positions.
Carlos Watkins has made a living as a role player in the NFL, but with the defensive line looking so thin this season, his experience and at least respectable productivity will earn him the starting nod. Dante Stills will line up behind him as the understudy, but you can also expect Stills to see some playing time as the season wears on. And if Stills performs well, the Cards could end up with quite a steal.