Cardinals' 53-man roster projection includes deep rotation of defensive linemen

AP Photo/Matt York

The Arizona Cardinals wrapped up its offseason program on June 8 and open training camp on July 29 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Here’s a 53-man roster projection:

Quarterbacks (3): Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, Matt Barkley

Analysis: Palmer and Stanton are gimmes. With a full offseason in the system, Barkley will be ready in case of an emergency.

Running backs (4): Chris Johnson, David Johnson, Andre Ellington, Stepfan Taylor

Analysis: The only thing different in this year’s running-back room compared with last year’s may be the order in which they sit, with David Johnson leaping past Ellington in order of importance.

Wide receivers (6): Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown, J.J. Nelson, Jaron Brown, Brittan Golden

Analysis: The Cardinals have had the right pieces at wide receiver for the last few years. It’ll take a star to break into this room.

Tight ends (4): Darren Fells, Jermaine Gresham, Ifeanyi Momah, Troy Niklas

Analysis: These are the four best but last year’s Mr. Irrelevant, Gerald Christian, may end up knocking Niklas out of the way because of his special-teams ability.

Offensive line (7): C Evan Boehm, C A.Q. Shipley, G Mike Iupati, G Evan Mathis, G Earl Watford, T D.J. Humphries, T Jared Veldheer

Analysis: Watford’s flexibility gives the Cardinals the ability to dress seven players. If they need an eighth, look to Antoine McClain to make the cut.

Defensive line (8): DT Calais Campbell, DT Rodney Gunter, DT Josh Mauro, DT Robert Nkemdiche, DT Corey Peters, DT Frostee Rucker, DT Ed Stinson, NT Xavier Williams

Analysis: Defensive line is, by far, the deepest position on the roster. With Peters returning from an Achilles injury and the maturation of Williams and Gunter last season, Red Bryant may find himself on the outside looking in.

Linebackers (8): ILB Alani Fua, ILB Gabe Martin, ILB Kevin Minter, OLB Markus Golden, OLB Chandler Jones, OLB Alex Okafor, OLB Kareem Martin, OLB Tristan Okpalaugo

Analysis: General manager Steve Keim has a bevy of outside linebackers to choose from to bolster a pass rush that was subpar last season, but in this rendition, Shaq Riddick doesn’t make the cut. I think Okpalaugo will show he’s capable of adjusting to the NFL when the Cards go in pads.

Defensive backs (10): CB Justin Bethel, CB Cariel Brooks, CB Harlan Miller, CB Patrick Peterson, CB Brandon Williams, S Tyvon Branch, S Deone Bucannon, S Tony Jefferson, S Tyrann Mathieu, S D.J. Swearinger

Analysis: Arizona will rely a lot on youth at cornerback but their depth at safety will be among the best in the NFL.

Specialists (3): K Chandler Catanzaro, P Drew Butler, LS Daniel Dillon

Analysis: Picking Dillon over Kameron Canaday was a coin flip. It’s too early to tell which long snapper will make the team because neither has faced a true rush. Wait until training camp for a leader to emerge.