3 bold predictions for the Arizona Cardinals cutdown to the 53-man roster

The Arizona Cardinals must have their roster cut down to 53 men in just over 48 hours. So let’s get bold as to who will stay and who will go.
Arizona Cardinals v Minnesota Vikings
Arizona Cardinals v Minnesota Vikings / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages

Zach McCloud came to the Arizona Cardinals this past week, saw some in-game action, and excelled unlike any other. On Friday, no one would have seen McCloud logging six tackles, three behind the line, three sacks, and three quarterback hits. 

That performance just gave McCloud a place on the final 53, or at least I’d be shocked if he doesn’t snag a position on the team. The guy was just phenomenal, and performances like that could easily warrant the unknown linebacker more time on the field when the games count. 

So it’s safe to assume that McCloud making the roster will not factor in as a bold prediction. But there are three projections that will, one of which includes McCloud’s position unit.

3 bold predictions for the Arizona Cardinals cutdown to 53

1 - Cards keep two quarterbacks, plus Kyler Murray

Josh Dobbs and Clayton Tune are safe, while Colt McCoy, David Blough, and Jeff Driskel are handed their walking papers. This is what should happen, but in all likelihood the Arizona Cardinals hang onto McCoy, Dobbs, and Tune while Kyler Murray remains on the PUP.

But if the team’s brass sees reason, they realize McCoy has nothing left to offer this team, let him go, and allow Dobbs or Tune carry this team for the first few weeks of the season. Then when Murray returns, he factors in as the unquestioned starter barring some epic slate of performances from the aforementioned Dobbs or Tune.

2 - All four Cardinals backs are kept to form a committee

Who was the most impressive back in yesterday’s win over the Minnesota Vikings? It was none other than Corey Clement, who rushed for 79 yards on 14 carries, good enough for 5.6 yards per attempt.

All preseason long, I’ve been underrating Clement, but he showed in yesterday’s win that he’s capable of producing, even if that production occurred against fringe backups. Either way, it still tells us he can factor into a committee that should include James Conner, Keaontay Ingram, and Emari Demercado. 

This creates a solid four-man committee with battering rams Conner and Ingram leading the way. Demercado factors in as the change-of-pace guy, and Clement can be sprinkled in when needed.

3 - Cardinals stack up on linebackers, EDGE rushers

Overall, I have the Arizona Cardinals keeping 11 linebackers and EDGE rushers, comprising nearly 20% of the roster. This is a unit laden with talent, even if a lot of that talent is unproven, like Zaven Collins, BJ Ojulari, Josh Woods, and Kyle Soelle, to name a few.

However, they could provide a strong rotation and keep fresh legs on the field at all times. Woods and Soelle both proved they can handle increased playing time, while at EDGE Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders have already excelled in spot duty, something that could be the case this season. 


(Statistics provided by ESPN.com)