Arizona Cardinals: 5 players who can earn the starting nod next to Kyzir White in 2023

Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Zeke Turner (47) runs after
Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Zeke Turner (47) runs after / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

We know the Arizona Cardinals will roll with Kyzir White as their starting inside linebacker in 2023. But who will line up next to him?

When the Arizona Cardinals signed Kyzir White, we knew he would end up stepping in as one of the starting linebackers. The mystery, however, is we don’t know who will line up alongside White to play in the other spot at inside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment, or another pair of linebackers if the Cards line up more in a 4-3 base. 

Despite this, we do know who will, or could be, lining up at the position in 2023. Below, we will cover five players who could ultimately wind up starting alongside White. So without further ado, let’s meet the candidates. 

Zaven Collins
New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages

5 Arizona Cardinals linebackers who could start alongside Kyzir White

1 - Zaven Collins

Zaven Collins is the wildcard on this list, since we’ve been given every indication out there that he will be playing defensive end/edge. I’ve even outlined this fact in my own depth chart projections. 

However, it doesn’t mean head coach Jonathan Gannon and defensive coordinator Nick Rallis won’t throw us a curveball. Collins did put up good numbers last season at inside linebacker, and despite the fact he’s been playing a lot of edge lately, he could still wind back up at inside linebacker if the Cards feel he best serves the team there. 

2 - Krys Barnes

Krys Barnes was one of the more intriguing signings, given how effective he was over his first two seasons in the NFL. In 2020 and 2021, he racked up 161 tackles and nine tackles for a loss, despite seeing time in just 984 snaps, per Pro-Football-Reference.

While he only saw the field in six games last season (one start), Barnes was on pace to record 82 tackles over a 17-game season after amassing 29 over those six contests. Look for him to be a serious contender and the possible favorite to line up alongside White this season.