TEMPE, Ariz. -- Predicting the 53-man roster is more an art than a science.
It’s figuring out what’s exactly going on inside the heads of Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians that’s the trick. Looking back on the Cardinals’ 53-man roster, which has remained steady since it was announced on Saturday, the players I missed on were a clear example of how tough it is to determine the final few spots.
Here’s a look at how I did predicting the Cardinals’ 53-man roster:
Shooting percentage: 94.3 percent. I predicted 50 of 53 correct players.
Players I had on that didn't make it:RB Robert Hughes, NT Alameda Ta'amu, CB Cariel Brooks
Decisions that might have been overthought: When Brooks returned Derek Carr's interception 81 yards for a touchdown, I thought that might have locked in his roster spot pending a good fourth game. He had a solid showing in the fourth game but still didn’t make the roster. Sometimes a pick-six is just a pick-six.
Decisions that were obvious in hindsight: Where Ta’amu fit into the picture. He barely played last season and was buried on the depth chart again this preseason. With rookie Rodney Gunter entering the starting lineup as the nose tackle with Corey Peters' injury, Xavier Williams stood out enough to win a spot on the roster. The Cardinals didn’t need a third NT.
Most intriguing player who wasn't part of initial projections: Barkley, by far. Where he fits nobody knows. Too many questions are surrounding him: How long will he last? Will he ever play? Why did they trade for him? He’s intriguing but not exactly in the I’m-excited-to-see-him-play way.