The NFL Preseason is drawing to a close and the deadline for NFL teams to cut down to 53 men on their respective rosters is something all teams are going to be doing prior to Week 1 of the 2017 NFL Season.
Here is the BritishBirdgang prediction as to who will be on the Arizona Cardinals 53-man roster as they head into the season.
Preseason is in the books (well, pretty much) and there are a lot of positions that have already been locked in – per conversations Bruce Arians had the other day, there would only be around 8 or so slots in the 53 for people to fight over in the final Week 4 preseason game in Denver on Friday morning.
Nevertheless, many players have taken advantage of the pre-season games to give themselves a chance of making the Arizona Cardinals 53-man roster for the 2017 NFL Season. Here is the lucky selection who we think will be the ones to make it for this year…well, at least at the start of the season, anyway!
Kicker – Phil Dawson
Punter – Matt Wile
Long Snapper – Aaron Brewer
Well, there’s 3 spots of the 53 taken straight away. The ageing Dawson is a lock to make the roster, as is Brewer for the simple fact that there’s been no competition for either of them in the off-season. The same thing can’t be said and, whilst neither Wile or Leone have been that good, Wile earns this spot for being less bad than his competitor.
Quarterbacks – Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert
Last year the Cardinals had 2 quarterbacks on their roster but I think that, with his impressive showings in the preseason, then Blaine Gabbert is deserving of a spot on the 53. Sure, he’s outperformed Drew Stanton pretty much all pre-season but Drew remains the number 2 in Bruce Arians’ eyes. Palmer’s the guy, he’s here.
Running Backs – David Johnson, Kerwynn Williams, Andre Ellington
I’m only going for a trio of running backs here and with good reason – DJ is the top dog, no question about that. Kerwynn Williams is now the teams’ de facto return guy (owing to TJ Logan’s injury…and he’s not here because he’s on the IR list and doesn’t count on the 53) and Andre Ellington saw off the fumbling hands of Chris Johnson to get that 3rd spot.
Wide Receivers – Larry Fitzgerald, Jaron Brown, John Brown, JJ Nelson, Brittan Golden, Jeremy Ross, Chad Williams
Is seven wide receivers too many? It could be but I’ve been impressed by both Golden and Ross in the preseason and think both are deserving of a roster spot given what they offer. Chad Williams hasn’t impressed that much but he’s a rookie and, given the depth ahead of him, he’s not needed to contribute early on…which might be a good thing. The other guys need no introduction.
Tight Ends – Jermaine Gresham, Troy Niklas, Ifeanyi Momah
A trio of tight ends seems like the best way to go. Gresham signed a big-money deal in the off-season so he’s the starter, Niklas has so far remained unscathed through all the pre-season and Momah has impressed enough to make it onto the roster.
Offensive Line – DJ Humphries, Mike Iupati, AQ Shipley, Evan Boehm, Jared Veldheer, Cole Toner, Dorian Johnson, Will Holden, John Wetzel.
5 starters and 4 versatile back-ups seem like the way to go here for the Cardinals. Both rookies are kept on the 53 because there is always the chance that they could get snapped up if placed on the practice squad and then there’s Toner as back-up C/G and Wetzel who can play anywhere but C.
Offence – 25 players
Defensive Line – Robert Nkemdiche, Frostee Rucker, Corey Peters, Josh Mauro, Rodney Gunter, Olsen Pierre, Xavier Williams
Seven defensive lineman seems like the best option for the Arizona Cardinals this season with all seven guys bringing something different to the table. Definitely wouldn’t be seeing all seven on the field at the same time in a game though…
Outside Linebacker – Chandler Jones, Markus Golden, Kareem Martin, Cap Capi.
The first two need no introduction. Kareem Martin has impressed in the pre-season and will be taking the spot vacated by Alex Okafor. Many suspected Jarvis Jones could get on the roster but, given his unavailability for the majority of pre-season, he has no chance and so Cap Capi is the fourth guy.
Inside Linebacker – Karlos Dansby, Deone Bucannon, Haason Reddick, Josh Bynes, Scooby Wright.
Deone Bucannon has been sidelined in pre-season but he’s a starter regardless. Same with Dansby, for now at least, but we can all dream of what it might be like for when Deone/Haason are the starting ILB pairing for the Cardinals. Bynes and Wright have impressed in the pre-season and are rewarded with spots on the 53-man roster.
Cornerbacks – Patrick Peterson, Justin Bethel, Brandon Williams, Tramon Williams.
Peterson, duh. Bethel, Williams have both impressed in pre-season and put to bed lingering concerns over the other CB spot that isn’t filled by P2…well, for now anyway. Tramon stays for some veteran experience in the position.
Safeties – Tyrann Mathieu, Antoine Bethea, Tyvon Branch, Budda Baker, Harlan Miller.
Mathieu looks in imperious form heading into the regular season and we couldn’t be any more excited. Bethea hasn’t stood out much in pre-season whcih might be a good or bad thing. Branch and Baker have been excellent, no questions over either of these making the 53. Miller gets the final spot.
RB Elijaah Penny
WR Carlton Agudosi
WR Krishawn Hogan
TE Hakeem Valles
TE Ricky Seals-Jones
OL Ulrick John
DL Pasoni Tasini
CB Sojourn Shelton
CB Ironhead Gallon
S Rudy Ford