Arizona Cardinals Season Preview: Projected Depth Chart, Rosters, and Predictions

    Our Arizona Cardinals season preview analyzes the team's offseason transactions, projects Arizona's depth chart, and more heading into the 2023 campaign.

    Following three years of ascension, the Arizona Cardinals came crashing down in 2022. After last season’s dismal 4-13 record, the Cardinals moved on from head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim, replacing them with ex-Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and former Titans executive Monti Ossenfort.

    Gannon and Ossenfort can remake Arizona’s woeful roster, but it will take time. And with Kyler Murray expected to miss the beginning of the season after tearing his ACL in December, next year is shaping up as a rebuilding campaign in the desert.

    Let’s take a look back at Arizona’s offseason moves as we preview the Cardinals’ 2023 NFL campaign.

    Everything You Need Ahead of the Arizona Cardinals’ 2023 NFL Season

    The Cardinals used free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft to add depth on both sides of the ball, but they also saw several major contributors walk out the door.

    Arizona Cardinals Roster Changes

    • Players Signed
      • QB David Blough
      • QB Jeff Driskel
      • RB Corey Clement
      • WR Zach Pascal
      • OT Kelvin Beachum
      • OT Dennis Daley
      • OT Elijah Wilkinson
      • G Will Hernandez
      • C Hjalte Froholdt
      • DL L.J. Collier
      • DL Kevin Strong
      • DL Carlos Watkins
      • LB Krys Barnes
      • LB Kyzir White
      • CB Antonio Hamilton
      • CB Kris Boyd
      • CB Rashad Fenton
      • K Matt Prater
      • P Matt Haack
    • Players Drafted
      • OT Paris Johnson Jr.
      • EDGE BJ Ojulari
      • CB Garrett Williams
      • WR Michael Wilson
      • OL Jon Gaines II
      • QB Clayton Tune
      • LB Owen Pappoe
      • CB Kei’Trel Clark
      • DT Dante Stills
    • Players Lost
      • WR Chosen Anderson (Dolphins)
      • WR A.J. Green
      • WR DeAndre Hopkins
      • TE Maxx Williams
      • G Justin Pugh
      • C Rodney Hudson
      • C Billy Price
      • OL Cody Ford (Bengals)
      • OL Max Garcia
      • EDGE Markus Golden (Steelers)
      • DL Zach Allen (Broncos)
      • DL Michael Dogbe (Jaguars)
      • DL Trysten Hill (Browns)
      • DL J.J. Watt
      • LB Kamu Grugier-Hill (Panthers)
      • LB Ben Niemann (Titans)
      • LB Tanner Vallejo
      • CB Byron Murphy (Vikings)
      • P Andy Lee

    The rebuilding Cardinals are turning over a new leaf, so it makes sense that they’d allow numerous veterans to leave over the offseason. Still, it has to sting to see DeAndre Hopkins (released), J.J. Watt (retirement), and Rodney Hudson (retirement) — all of whom who at one point were considered among the best players at their respective positions — depart.

    But Arizona didn’t only lose those formerly elite players. They also saw defensive lineman Zach Allen sign with the Broncos after a breakout campaign. Byron Murphy, the Cardinals’ most consistent cornerback in recent seasons, inked a deal with the Vikings. Even veterans like edge rusher Markus Golden are gone.

    Arizona used free agency not to add high-end talent but to fill in gaps — which was probably the right strategy considering the state of their roster. Linebacker Kyzir White, the only Cardinals’ signee to receive at least $5 million per year, will follow Gannon from Philadelphia to Phoenix, while Rashad Fenton and Kris Boyd will try to help make up for Murphy’s absence in the secondary.

    The most significant movement came along Arizona’s offense line, where they drafted Paris Johnson Jr. in the first round, re-signed Will Hernandez and Kelvin Beachum, and added new starting center Hjalte Froholdt from the Browns. Johnson, the sixth overall pick in the draft, will begin his career at left guard but could eventually shift back to tackle.

    Arizona Cardinals Coaching Staff in 2023

    • Head Coach: Jonathan Gannon
    • Offensive Coordinator: Drew Petzing
      • QB coach: Israel Woolfork
      • RB coach: Autry Denson
      • WR coach/passing game coordinator: Drew Terrell
      • TE coach: Ben Steele
      • OL coach: Klayton Adams
    • Defensive Coordinator: Nick Rallis
      • DL coach: Derrick LeBlanc
      • LB coach: Sam Siefkes
      • OLB coach: Rob Rodriguez
      • DB coach: Patrick Toney
      • CB coach: Ryan Smith
    • Special Teams Coordinator: Jeff Rodgers

    Gannon seems to have received the coldest welcome of any of the NFL‘s five new head coaches. That might be because of where the Cardinals are in their rebuilding timeline or due to concerns that Gannon won’t succeed without the benefit of the stacked Eagles roster he’d coached for the past two seasons.

    Gannon won’t have many veteran coaches to lean on, as Arizona’s staff is among the least experienced in recent memory. Drew Petzing could bring Kevin Stefanski’s offense to the Cardinals after serving as the Browns’ quarterbacks coach, while Nick Rallis — the youngest coordinator in the NFL at age 29 — will likely deploy a scheme similar to what he and Gannon ran with the Eagles.

    Arizona’s most impactful offseason change might not come on the field but in the general manager’s chair. Keim had run the Cardinals’ roster into the ground while committing numerous off-field sins, but Ossenfort has already taken the club in a new direction by dominating the 2023 draft and stockpiling future draft capital.

    Predicting the Arizona Cardinals Depth Chart

    Arizona Cardinals Season Preview: Projected Depth Chart, Rosters, and Predictions

    Offensive Depth Chart

    • QB: Kyler Murray, Colt McCoy, Clayton Tune, Jeff Driskel
    • RB: James Conner, Keaontay Ingram, Corey Clement, Ty’Son Williams
    • WR: Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore, Greg Dortch, Zach Pascal, Michael Wilson, Andre Baccellia
    • TE: Zach Ertz, Trey McBride, Chris Pierce
    • LT: D.J. Humphries, Dennis Daley
    • LG: Paris Johnson Jr., Elijah Wilkinson
    • C: Hjalte Froholdt, Lecitus Smith
    • RG: Will Hernandez, Jon Gaines III
    • RT: Kelvin Beachum, Josh Jones

    Defensive Depth Chart

    • DT: Leki Fotu, Rashard Lawrence, Jonathan Ledbetter, L.J. Collier, Carlos Watkins, Kevin Strong
    • EDGE: Myjai Sanders, Cameron Thomas, BJ Ojulari, Victor Dimukeje, Jesse Luketa
    • LB: Kyzir White, Isaiah Simmons, Zaven Collins, Krys Barnes, Owen Pappoe
    • CB: Marco Wilson, Antonio Hamilton, Garrett Williams, Rashad Fenton, Christian Matthew
    • S: Budda Baker, Jalen Thompson, JuJu Hughes, Josh Thomas, Andre Chachere

    Special Teams Depth Chart

    • K: Matt Prater
    • P: Matt Haack
    • LS: Aaron Brewer
    • KR: Greg Dortch
    • PR: Greg Dortch

    2022 Results and Standings

    Although the Cardinals entered the 2022 campaign as nominal contenders after winning 11 games the previous season, things got off to a poor start as early as July. When Arizona extended Murray last summer, they included an “independent study” clause in his contract that required four hours of film work per week.

    The embarrassing addendum — eventually removed from the contract — seemingly caused a rift between Murray and management and may have portended how the season would play out.

    The Cardinals were still in the playoff race with a 3-4 record through Week 7, but consecutive losses to the Vikings and Seahawks largely removed them from the conversation. As the relationship between Murray and Kingsbury continued to grow sour, Arizona lost six straight games to close the season with a 4-13 mark.

    2023 Power Ranking and Season Outlook

    The Cardinals rank 31st in Dalton Miller’s post-draft Power Rankings, ahead of only the Buccaneers.

    Even in a weak NFC, it’s nearly impossible to view Arizona as a contending team in 2023. With Murray still recovering, Colt McCoy is likely to open the season as the club’s starter in an offense now devoid of Hopkins. James Conner and the Cardinals’ offensive line could provide a decent run game, but opportunities to get on the board will probably be few and far between.

    On defense, Budda Baker is Arizona’s only impact player — and he requested a trade in April. There’s a chance for young defenders like Myjai Sanders, Cameron Thomas, or Zaven Collins to take a leap, but the Cardinals’ lack of pass rush or coverage options means opposing offenses are unlikely to have much trouble putting up points.

    Of course, it’s not the end of the world if the Cards don’t compete next year. Arizona is looking toward the 2024 draft, when they will hold two first-round picks and three third-rounders. Depending on how things shake out, the Cardinals could own the first two selections in next year’s draft and six choices inside the top 75.

    Dallas Robinson is an NFL analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Dallas’ work here and follow him on Twitter: @dallasdrobinson.

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