ARIZONA CARDINALS

Rosenthal: 4 rookies projected to start for Cardinals in 2019

May 31, 2019, 8:38 PM
WR Hakeem Butler talks to QB Kyler Murray (AP Photo/Matt York)...
WR Hakeem Butler talks to QB Kyler Murray (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

It’s never too early to predict who will line up for the Arizona Cardinals this upcoming season.

If things go the way of NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal, though, the Cardinals’ starting lineup will have some rookie flavor.

Rosenthal projects four rookies to start for the Cardinals in 2019, three from the offensive side of the ball.

One name is obvious — No. 1 overall pick and quarterback Kyler Murray.

The other three? Receivers Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler and cornerback Byron Murphy.

Rosenthal predicts the Cardinals could use a total of four wide receivers in their base formation, with Isabella and Butler flanking Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

“I may be getting carried away with Kliff Kingsbury fever, but could the Cardinals be the first NFL team to truly use four wideouts as their base offense?” Rosenthal said. “If Hakeem Butler and Andy Isabella both perform as rookies, they could out-snap the team’s top tight ends, Ricky Seals-Jones and Charles Clay.”

The offensive line also looks different in Rosenthal’s projections, with newcomers J.R. Sweezy and Marcus Gilbert taking over starting roles.

Defensively, there isn’t much surprise.

The suspension of Patrick Peterson moves Murphy and fellow cornerback David Amerson into more important roles in the secondary.

The surprise suspension of All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson will force second-round rookie Byron Murphy to be a big-time contributor immediately,” Rosenthal said. “David Amerson, who has mostly struggled in recent years, figures to be a target of opposing quarterbacks.”

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Rosenthal: 4 rookies projected to start for Cardinals in 2019