Arizona Cardinals: Chirping With the Red Birds in Training Camp 2020

The Arizona Cardinals could be one of the most surprising and fun teams to watch in the NFL this upcoming season. Before Kliff Kingsbury came to town to be the head coach, Arizona wasn’t good in Steve Wilks’s only tenure in 2018 with Josh Rosen.

In 2019, there were signs of flashes and potential with Kingsbury and Kyler Murray. Murray was the number one overall pick out of Oklahoma University in the 2019 NFL Draft. He was also the Offensive Rookie of the Year last year as well. Will see what happens in year two of this offense though.

Quarterbacks

Kyler Murray will be the starter. He is the heartbeat of this Cardinals football team. Murray can win MVP his second season if he pops nonetheless.

Brett Hundley will be the backup. Drew Anderson and Chris Streveler will compete for the third quarterback spot on the Cardinals roster.

Running Backs

Kenyan Drake will be the starting running back. He is on a contract year. Drake was acquired in a trade last season from the Miami Dolphins for a later round draft pick. Chase Edmonds will be the second running back on the roster. Edmonds will be very good again this season. He played his college football at FCS Fordham.

Rookie Eno Benjamin, D.J. Foster, and rookie Jonathan Ward will compete for the final two running back spots on the Cardinals roster.

Full Back

Rookie Parker Houston will look to be the fullback on this roster. It will be interesting to see whether or not Kliff Kingsbury wants to keep one on the roster with the personnel they have offensively.

Wide Receivers

Larry Fitzgerald, DeAndre Hopkins, and Christian Kirk will be the starting wide receivers. Fitzgerald is entering his 17th season with the club. He has contemplated retirement multiple times, but he loves the game of football too much. Larry Fitzgerald will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer one day for the Cardinals.

Hopkins was acquired in a trade from the Houston Texans for running back David Johnson. Arizona received a fourth-round pick in 2020 in return and Houston received a second-round pick in 2020 in return. DeAndre Hopkins is easily a top-five wide receiver in the NFL. The fact that Houston didn’t receive at least one or two first-round picks back for him was disgraceful.

Andy Isabella from UMASS will be a nice fourth wide receiver. Trent Sherfield, KeeSean Johnson, A.J. Richardson, Hakeem Butler, Johnie Dixon, and rookies Shane Leatherbury (from Towson University), Devin Phelps, JoJo Ward, and Rashad Medaris will compete for the final two spots at the wide receiver position for the Arizona Cardinals.

Tight Ends

Maxx Williams will be the starting tight end. Darrell Daniels, Dan Arnold, Dylan Cantrell, and rookie Ryan Becker will compete for the second and third tight end spots on the roster.

Offensive Line

This was the weakest part of the offense last season. If it can be anything decent, this team will go places. D.J. Humphries will be the starting left tackle, Justin Pugh will be the starting left guard, Mason Cole will be the starting center, J.R. Sweezy will be the starting right guard, and Marcus Gilbert will be the starting right tackle for the Cardinals.

Kelvin Beachum, Sam Jones, Lamont Gaillard, Max Garcia, Joshua Miles, and rookies Josh Jones, and Steven Gonzales will compete for some backup offensive line spots on the roster. Jones was the 72nd overall pick (third-round) selection in the 2020 NFL Draft out of the University of Houston. He is one of the better offensive linemen in this draft and Arizona found some good value in him though however here.

Defense

This team plays a 3-4 defensive scheme. Zach Allen, Jordan Phillips, and Corey Peters will be the starting defensive lineman. Michael Dogbe, Jonathan Bullard, Miles Brown, Trevon Coley, and rookies Leki Fotu, Rashard Lawrence, Adam Shuler, and T.J. Carter will compete for backup spots on the defensive line.

Isaiah Simmons, Chandler Jones, De’Vondre Campbell, and Jordan Hicks will be the starting linebackers.

The Arizona Cardinals have one of the better linebacking cores in the NFL though. Jones is a sack machine. Simmons was the eighth overall pick out of Clemson University. He is very athletic.

Devon Kennard, Kylie Fitts, Haason Reddick, and rookie Evan Weaver will be some of the backups on this roster at the linebacker position. Vontarrius Dora, Tanner Vallejo, Dennis Gardeck, rookie Reggie Walker, and Ezekiel Turner will compete for another linebacker spot or two on the roster though.

Patrick Peterson and Byron Murphy will be the starting cornerbacks on the roster. Jalen Davis, Kevin Peterson, Chris Jones, Robert Alford, rookie Jace Whittaker, and Duke Thomas will compete for the final three cornerback spots on the roster.

Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson will be the starting safeties. Rookie Isaiah Simmons could see some time at safety as well. Charles Washington, Deionte Thompson, Chris Banjo, and rookie Reggie Floyd will compete for the other backup safety spot or two on the roster though.

Special Teams

Zane Gonzalez will be the starting kicker.

Andy Lee and Ryan Winslow will compete for the starting punter job.

Aaron Brewer will be the starting long snapper.

Christian Kirk will be the primary punt returner.

Andy Isabella will be the primary kickoff returner.

The Arizona Cardinals could surprise people this season. I don’t think they are going to finish ahead of the Seattle Seahawks or the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West Standings, but they could finish ahead of the Los Angeles Rams this season though.

The Cardinals will win somewhere between 5-9 games. Arizona could be in playoff contention by Week 13 or 14, but we could see them falter down the stretch simply because they are not ready yet to contend.

What do you think of the Arizona Cardinals’ potential this season? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

 

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