2015 Depth Charts: Arizona Cardinals

| 2 years ago

2015 Depth Charts: Arizona Cardinals



•  Carson Palmer proved last year that, when healthy, he can be a more than solid starting quarterback in this Arizona Cardinals offense. Getting him back to the level he was playing at before he went down in 2014 will be key to the Cardinals attempts to improve again in 2015.

•  Last year we very nearly put Michael Floyd in the dark green category, instead deciding to wait a year for him to prove he belonged there, and our reservations were confirmed with a down year from the former Notre Dame star. Given the Cardinals quarterback situation after Palmer got hurt, we thought it unfair to push him down any lower than where he was a year ago however.

•  Dan Williams was limited to playing a limited snap count as the team’s nose tackle, but if leaves as a free agent, the Cardinals have very few options at the position currently on the roster. Alameda Ta’amu would be the next man up, but we simply haven’t seen enough of him to form a full picture.

•  2014 wasn’t great for Patrick Peterson, but we’re giving him the benefit of the doubt that it was a down year and not an example of where he truly is as a player. He didn’t prove himself to be the elite player many expected last season, but his career body of work keeps him in the Very Good category.

Team Needs

Cornerback: Even if 2014 was merely a down year for Patrick Peterson, with the second half of the season better than the first, this is still a position that Arizona needs to address. Antonio Cromartie is a free agent which right now puts Justin Bethel in line to start. He’s one of the best in the league on Special Teams, but hasn’t seen enough time on defense for us to judge either way, while the other three players listed on the depth chart at the position combined for a total of zero snaps on defense in 2014.

Outside Linebacker: It was a by-committee approach at outside linebacker for the Cardinals in 2014, but it’s definitely a position which needs improving as we head towards the new season. Okafor, Shaughnessy and Alexander combined for just nine sacks, nine hits, and 37 hurries last season, so fans will be hoping they can find a top edge rusher either through free agency or the draft.

Interior Offensive Line: Perhaps the question mark for this Cardinals team comes on the offensive line. They addressed the left tackle spot with the addition of Jared Veldheer last offseason, but the interior needs help, and needs it urgently. Was 2014 just a down year for center Lyle Sendlein, who was solid enough the two years previous? Can Jonathon Cooper stay on the field and nail down a starting spot in his third year in the league? Even if both of those thing go in their favour, they could do with upgrading the other guard spot, with Ted Larsen struggling last year.


Click here to see the rest of the charts.


| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • Jaguars28

    So, are you guys going to update these after free agency and the draft?

    • Gordon McGuinness

      Yep that’s the plan

  • Bryan

    Interesting that you listed Drew Butler as the top punter over Dave Zastudil

    • Gordon McGuinness

      Might not shake out that way, but I think he’s the better of the two

      • R

        Zastudil is so much better than Butler that it’s not even close

        • ZMW

          Butler is god awful, Zasty is the starter hands down – not even a competition

  • Stephen

    What do the different colors mean?

    • Gordon McGuinness

      Just adding the key now, oversight on my part

  • Chris

    I wish current unsigned free agents would be listed with their current teams until they are signed away by another.

  • Riffle,Rod&Fly

    It is nice to see Campbell represent those of us giants out there. We don’t tend to hold up too well in the NFL. Speaking of which, I’m not as educated on the PFF ratings systems as some of you guys, but do they have any sort of penalty for guys being injured? Palmer’s “good” rating seems generous. I’ve seen more glaring examples of this as well. You can’t play if you can’t stay healthy and guys who can should get a small boost in my opinion.

  • Jaguars28

    Question: how is Andre Ellington a good starter when he averaged 3.3 YPC?

    Also, I think Stanton’s grade is a bit harsh.

    • Chris

      “The grade given is for now – it’s not a prediction of future development. While it’s primarily based on last year (or their last year of action) it does include more than just a nod to their career. For example, if a corner played well up until 2014 and then stunk, we’ll take account of his better years as well.”

      Yes he averaged 3.3 YPC this year. He also averaged 5.5 YPC last year, also known as tops in the league.

      Elite numbers as a part-time role player in 2013, terrible numbers as a full-time starter in 2014. They rounded that out to “Good”. As they said, it is opinion based. Word is they might limit Ellington’s touches to gain back some of that dynamic ability he flashed as a change-of-pace back.

      • Jaguars28

        Do you think they should take Melvin Gordon in the first?

        • Chris

          Tough call. I am more of a believer in getting both lines figured out first, especially when it comes to the running game. RBs are almost a dime a dozen now and former castoffs (Forsett) can practically lead the league in the right situation.

          As the article mentions, the interior OL is a disaster. They shored up tackle last year with Veldheer, who ranked top 10 at his position. But the rest of the line leaves a lot to be desired. On the right side Massie is just average, while both Larsen and Fanaika found themselves in the bottom 10 at their positions and Sendlein graded 2nd to last at center.

          Not many backs would be very productive behind that disaster. Ellington has proven he can be a special talent. If they aren’t satisfied with the other talent at the position (Taylor, Williams), then pick up a bigger back to compliment Ellington. No need to go out and use a first-rounder to effectively replace Ellington when he was so good last year, and when the OL is the root of the issue.

    • Anrhony

      Because there’s no real logic to any of this. These rankings are not based on PFF grades (this year or otherwise), that’s for sure.

      Some players get bad grades from PFF but get the benefit of the doubt in these articles. It really casts doubt on the whole scientific grading approach. It certainly makes me question the validity of the grading system if they grade players and then label them based on subjective opinion. If this is indeed the case, then are they really grading fairly to begin with?

  • Vitor

    I wouldn’t be so harsh on Dockett, but you guys may have good reasons.
    Getting Daryl Washington back will be huge.

    • Chris

      If you go through Docketts grades you’ll see he hasn’t had a good season in a while. He’s almost purely name value at this point. Campbell and Martin are the future, and the sooner the better.

      • Jaguars28

        Ray Horton ruined him. Thank goodness he’s ruining Tennessee’s defense :)

      • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

        dockett is an elite twitterer tho. lol

  • bobrulz

    Wow, a red for Stanton? He’s certainly not a starter but that seems harsh. He kept the team afloat, even if he didn’t necessarily do anything to elevate the team, and putting him in the same category as Lindley is just not right.

  • DLane

    What do u guys see AZ doing in the draft? I think corner needs to be attended to but also a pass rush? I also prob not a good idea to invest anything into Goodwin until he proves himself at this level, with that said i think they need to add a big body up front on that Dline in round 1 ne. If they can restructure Dockett they can free up some $$ to sign a FA rush LB. Go OL in round 2. Just my .02

    • DrAWNiloc

      #24 is an awkward draft position; the great pass rushers will be gone by then and the good ones will be gone by the time they pick again. Given their needs and the talent list, the Cardinals should be happy to get Florida State OT Cameron Erving in Round #1 and follow that up with Virginia SS Anthony Harris in Round #2.