Ranking Arizona Cardinals rookies from worst to best heading into 2023

The Arizona Cardinals are one of the NFL’s younger teams, and they have a plethora of rookies heading into the 2023 season. Let’s rank them.
Denver Broncos v Arizona Cardinals
Denver Broncos v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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The Arizona Cardinals currently have 11 rookies on the active roster, with one on the NFI list, and another on injured reserve. Following the cutdown to the first 53, the Cards picked up another trio of rookies, who we will briefly discuss. 

However, Garrett Williams (NFI), Jon Gaines II (IR), and the trio the Redbirds picked up will not be part of the actual rankings, and they have been given an Incomplete heading into 2023. Their names are also in no particular order in the section below. 

Where does each player stand, and will those with Incomplete grades join them this season? Keep reading. 

Arizona Cardinals
Jul 28, 2023; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals guard Jon Gaines II (59) talks to assistant / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

Ranking Arizona Cardinals rookies from worst to first


I - Garrett Williams

Garrett Williams heads into Week 1 still recovering from the torn ACL he suffered last October, but he should find himself competing for playing time once cleared and acclimated. As it stands, the Arizona Cardinals don’t have a clear-cut CB2, and Williams could eventually work his way into that role.

I - Jon Gaines II

Jon Gaines II will unfortunately miss his rookie season thanks to a knee injury, so he too gets an incomplete. It will be a “redshirt” year for the versatile offensive lineman out of UCLA, and hopefully, we will see Gaines return in time for the 2024 season.

I - Starling Thomas V

If you read about Starling Thomas V’s time with the Detroit Lions, his presence in the desert should excite you. We know head coach Jonathan Gannon wants an aggressive defense, and Thomas is a physical corner who fits that criteria. He could wind up getting ranked when we revisit this post later in the season. 

I - Elijah Higgins

Elijah Higgins heard his name called back in April, so if a player is good enough to get drafted, it’s often a shocker to see them getting placed on the waiver wire. So he wasn’t good enough to stick with the Miami Dolphins, you may say. Perhaps, or maybe there just wasn’t room for a guy that five teams tried to claim, per Michael David Smith of NBC Sports

I - Ilm Manning

Like Thomas and Higgins, Ilm Manning is yet another name to be excited about. He’s listed as a tackle, but at 6’2, 294 lbs, Manning factors in as a guard in the NFL, or perhaps even center. His smaller size (for an offensive lineman) could have factored into this one, but he was impressive at Niners camp this preseason, as the article linked above will tell you.