TEMPE, Ariz. -- Five players on the Arizona Cardinals' roster won’t make it to the start of organized team activities May 17.
Arizona is sitting at 95 players -- five above the NFL’s limit -- just two weeks before OTAs begin. They start rookie minicamp Friday at their practice facility in Tempe, Arizona.
Here’s a look at the first edition of the Cardinals’ 90- (or 95-) man roster:
Arizona Cardinals (95)
My take: Even though Arizona made a surprising move by not drafting a quarterback, Coker is a pretty good consolation prize. You can’t blame GM Steve Keim for not drafting a quarterback for the sake of drafting a quarterback. The starter and backup jobs are solidified. Coker can give Barkley a run for his money this offseason.
Running back (6)
My take: This is a unit that head coach Bruce Arians is pleased with, especially after the emergence of David Johnson last season. I don’t think Chris Johnson will hand David the starting job as easy as Arians did this offseason. The last two -- Williams and Baker -- could be fighting for a practice-squad spot if Baker shows Williams-esque speed.
Wide receiver (10)
My take: Another position the Cardinals are pleased with for the moment. Floyd wasn’t moved during the draft despite rumors that it could have possibly happened. This will be a rotation that will be tough for the new faces to crack. For the first time since 2009, the Cardinals did not draft a wide receiver. Amir Carlisle could take Shipley’s spot if he shows some wheels during camp.
Tight end (6)
My take: There is quite a bit of depth to this year’s group of tight ends, which means Niklas will have to prove the Cardinals need him to make the roster. Momah and Christian are back healthy. Valles fits the profile of a Cardinals’ tight end at 6-foot-5.
Offensive line (17)
Starters: LT Jared Veldheer, LG Mike Iupati, C A.Q. Shipley, RG Evan Mathis, RT D.J. Humphries. Reserves: C Evan Boehm, C Taylor Boggs, C Valerian Ume-Ezeoke, G John Fullington, G Antoine McClain, G Cole Toner, G Earl Watford, T Edawn Coughman, T Rob Crisp, T Clay DeBord, T Givens Prince, T John Wetzel.
My take: A lot of new faces on the offensive line will be in camp this year. Sixth percent of the starting offensive line is set in stone (Veldheer, Iupati and Mathis). Shipley and Humphries have their names penciled in as starters as of this week. One of the best battles this offseason will be Shipley vs. rookie center Evan Boehm. If Humphries doesn’t begin the season as the starting right tackle, when is too soon to call him a bust?
Defensive line (10)
My take: This is the deepest position on the roster with nine linemen who played at some point in 2015, and eight who were part of the rotation. An already good defensive line got even better when Arizona drafted Nkemdiche in the first round, but that could mean the rookie took somebody’s job. There is a lot of time to figure out whose job that will be, but the pressure is on in this meeting room.
Starter: ILB Kevin Minter, ILB Deone Bucannon, OLB Chander Jones, OLB Alex Okafor. Reserves: ILB Alani Fua, ILB Louis Lamar, ILB Gabe Martin, ILB Quayshawn Nealy, OLB Markus Golden, OLB Kareem Martin, OLB Tristan Okpalaugo, OLB Mike Reilly, OLB Shaq Riddick, OLB Zack Wagenmann.
My take: The Cardinals’ edge rush got significant boost when they traded for Chandler Jones in March. Heading into the last season of his rookie deal, Minter will need to step up even more than he did last season. There will be stiff competition at outside linebacker with Golden, Martin, Riddick and Okpalaugo fighting for playing time. Wagenmann is healthy and will spend the offseason trying to prove he belongs as well.
Starter: Patrick Peterson and Justin Bethel. Reserves: Eli Bouka, Cariel Brooks, Carrington Byndom, Trevon Hartfield, Asa Jackson, Harlan Miller, Shaun Prater, Kevin White, Brandon Williams, Joel Wilkinson, Ronald Zamort.
My take: If I was on the roster, I’d want to be a cornerback this year. With both starters out until training camp with injuries, the cornerbacks will have plenty of opportunities to prove themselves during OTAs and minicamp. That could mean an unlikely player makes the roster.
My take: Mathieu's rehab is progressing, which will give Branch and Swearinger ample time to make a case for the starting job. Jefferson re-signed a one-year tender this offseason, and he’s out to prove he’s worthy of a long-term deal.
Special teams (5)
My take: One storyline that’s going to fly under the radar this camp but is interesting to me is who will be Arizona’s next long snapper after Mike Leach retired after last season. The Cardinals signed two -- Dillon and Canaday -- and both were long-term long snappers in college. But one bad snap can cost them their job in training camp in favor of a veteran free agent.