We’ve made it. Training Camp officially starts this week!
With the upgrades to Center, Defensive End, and the “Z” position at WR, most of the starting jobs are set, but there are still a few intriguing position battles going into Cards Camp. Let’s rank the Top 5
5. 3rd Safety – with how often teams pass these days pretty much every team has at least 3 safeties that play. Deionte Thompson has the chance to be that guy along with Jalen Thompson and Budda Baker. Veterans Charles Washington and Chris Banjo will also be in the running.
4. Backup TE – being the only TE with NFL experience, Darren Daniels is the clear favorite at TE2 for now behind Maxx Williams, but undrafted rookies Bernhard Seikovits and Bruno Labelle are talented and should push for a roster spot. Don’t be surprised if Keim adds depth to this position after a late camp cut.
3. Slot WR – this one may not necessarily be considered a camp battle with Christian Kirk clearly sliding in as the starter, but Rondale Moore is so talented it’s surely not out of the question for him to push Kirk. Expect them to split snaps and even play slot together simultaneously in 10 personnel (4 WR sets, 1 RB 0 TEs). According to Sharpe Stats, AZ led the league in 4 WR sets last year by a pretty wide margin running it 20% of the time with Buffalo 2nd at 15% and TB 3rd at 5%. With the additions of Green and Moore, and the lack of a pure pass-catching TE, the use of 10 personnel should rise even.
2. CB3 – if Robert Alford can stay healthy he’s the favorite here. Darqueze Dennard and the Rookies Marco Wilson and Tay Gowan will also be in the mix. Look out for a late camp cut signing at this position as well, CB is easily one of AZ’s most shallow position groups.
1. Starting RG – according to the team, this is a rare 4-person battle (though I think it’s likely just 3). Having the most overall experience, veteran Brian Winters is supposedly the favorite. Justin Murray can’t be far behind, having the most experience with the Cardinals. The team also realizes Josh Jones might be one of their best 5 blockers and want to give him a chance to start so he’s also been thrown into the mix, as well as veteran Max Garcia.
I can’t remember a year in recent history with fewer starting jobs available going into camp, which should be a good sign considering the unset positions are often the weakest spots of a team.
Let me know if you agree/disagree with any of them or if I missed any other camp Battles you’re excited for.