Arizona Cardinals: What role will each player drafted in 2022 play in 2023?

The Arizona Cardinals had no first round pick in 2022, but they had solid returns from Steve Keim’s last draft. Will they make respectable leaps in 2023?
Jan 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Arizona Cardinals tight end Trey McBride (85) gestures
Jan 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Arizona Cardinals tight end Trey McBride (85) gestures / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals had eight draft picks in 2022, and each could find their respective way onto the team in 2023. However, they all have different floors and ceilings, with some of the earlier to mid-round picks possibly playing prominent roles with the Redbirds in Year 2 of their careers. 

Those drafted in the mid-to-late rounds won’t be seeing extensive playing time unless they more than impress, or if injuries hit early. So what role can you expect from each 2022 draft pick in 2023? Keep reading for a rundown. 

How will each second-year Arizona Cardinals player drafted in 2022 fit?

1 - Trey McBride, TE

Trey McBride proved he could be a legitimate TE1 in the NFL after he performed more than admirably in Zach Ertz’s absence. Even if Ertz is ready to play this year and starts off as the TE1, McBride will still receive substantial playing time. 

2 - Cameron Thomas, EDGE

We will always wonder how productive Cameron Thomas would have been if former defensive coordinator Vance Joseph let him play more often. Despite his rather limited sample size as a rookie, Thomas could make a jump this season and, at worst, will be part of a young rotation. 

3 - Myjai Sanders, EDGE

Myjai Sanders is another one who played nowhere near as often as he should have, but the former 100th overall pick took advantage of every opportunity he got. Like Thomas, Sanders’ floor in 2023 will be as a rotational piece. 

4 - Keaontay Ingram, RB

Keaontay Ingram is a wildcard, and he will determine his destiny in training camp. If he excels, he could open the season as the RB2, but if he doesn’t perform to the same measure as Ty’Son Williams and Corey Clement, Ingram could be battling for a roster spot. However, I believe Ingram will end up as the RB2 following a solid camp.

5 - Lecitus Smith

Another wildcard, Smith will either find himself in a starting role, a spot as a key backup, a member of the practice squad, or a free agent looking for work. As with Ingram, the way he performs in camp will decide his role in 2023. 

6 - Christian Matthew

Christian Matthew is yet another player who can find himself either sliding into a prominent role or going through waivers once camp concludes. However, if he earns a spot on the team, look for Matthew to be nothing more than a depth/special teams piece. 

7 - Jesse Luketa

There is too much competition at linebacker for Jesse Luketa to be a serious contender for even a depth role. He must focus on maximizing his chances at special teams if he figures to make the Arizona Cardinals 53-man roster. 

8 - Marquis Hayes

Marquis Hayes is the odd man out at offensive line unless he enjoys an outstanding camp. But with so much depth at the position, it’s hard to envision him sticking around in 2023.