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Predicting Cardinals' new starting lineup: Defense

TEMPE, Ariz. -- With additions and departures comes a new season of change for the Arizona Cardinals.

When Arizona kicks off 2015, it will have a slew of new faces thanks to free agency and the draft. While the draft is still a month away, I can only predict the Cardinals' 2015 starters based on what’s happened in free agency.

Here are my predictions for what the Cardinals’ starting defense will look like next season:

Defensive line: Calais Campbell, Corey Peters, Frostee Rucker

Reason: Campbell, coming off his first Pro Bowl, is a lock to start. Peters was signed to be a versatile interior lineman who can play Dan Williams' old role if possible. Last season Rucker showed he was more than capable of being a starter, and when he was healthy, he was productive.

Backups: Cory Redding, Josh Mauro, Ed Stinson, Alameda Ta'amu, Kareem Martin

Outside linebackers: Matt Shaughnessy, Alex Okafor

Reason: Coming off a breakout second season, Okafor will enter next season with high expectations. When healthy, Shaughnessy can be one of Arizona’s top defensive linemen and has shown his ability to corral the edge rushing game.

Backups: Lorenzo Alexander, LaMarr Woodley, Martin

Inside linebackers: Kevin Minter, Sean Weatherspoon

Reason: Entering his third season, Minter will be a starting inside linebacker when the opponent calls for it. In other words, if the offense runs the ball, Minter will be on the field. If not, Arizona will go nickel and he’ll be relegated to the bench. Weatherspoon was signed to be a three-down, sideline-to-sideline linebacker -- if he can stay healthy.

Backups: Lorenzo Alexander, Kenny Demens, Glenn Carson

Cornerbacks: Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers

Reason: Obviously Peterson is one starter, but Powers wins the job over Justin Bethel because of experience.

Backups: Bethel

Safety: Rashad Johnson, Tyrann Mathieu

Reason: Johnson and Mathieu make the most sense in a base defense. Johnson is a steady and sturdy presence in the deep secondary, and Mathieu’s ball-hawking skills makes it hard for the Cardinals to keep him off the field.

Backups: Tony Jefferson, Deone Bucannon, Chris Clemons

Coming Wednesday: Special teams