Antonio Hamilton listed as CB2 in Cardinals’ 1st depth chart of 2023
Aug 7, 2023, 8:31 PM | Updated: Aug 8, 2023, 9:39 am
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE — It wouldn’t be game week for the Arizona Cardinals without an “official” depth chart.
Sure, it’s for Game 1 of the preseason and there’s still nearly five weeks before the regular season rolls around.
If there’s salt around, take this depth chart with it. But nonetheless, the depth chart gives us a starting point as to how this team might look come Week 1.
Defensively, the big question has centered around who would be slotting in at cornerback alongside projected starter Marco Wilson.
And while Christian Matthew and Kei’Trel Clark have seen first-team reps this camp, it’s Antonio Hamilton Sr. getting the starting nod when the Denver Broncos come to town on Friday.
Matthew and Clark, meanwhile, are the first two cornerbacks off the bench for the Cardinals.
Surprisingly, rookie Garrett Williams, who is currently on the non-football injury list while he recovers from a torn ACL suffered last season, is next in line with Nate Hairston on the other side.
Arizona Cardinals depth chart notes
‘The ultimate pro’
Second-year pros Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders have been among the names talked about the most when trying to figure out who is going to rush the quarterback opposite inside-turned-outside linebacker Zaven Collins.
But when the lights come on at State Farm Stadium on Friday night, linebacker Dennis Gardeck is slated to take the field as a starting pass rusher across from Collins, who has been raved about too much not to have a starting role.
“Ultimate pro,” head coach Jonathan Gannon said of Gardeck on Monday. “He really goes out of his way to help his teammates understand, give them cheat points, tips here or there. He’s always very curious … he’s a student of the game, he’s got a growth mindset. Football character’s through the roof. Glad we have him and like where he’s going.”
Gardeck has been one of the constants with the first team in addition to getting some added reps with the second team this camp.
Speaking of Thomas and Sanders, the former slots in behind Collins, followed by rookie BJ Ojulari. The latter on the other hand is listed behind both Gardeck and Victor Dimukeje.
Sanders was back to work on Monday after missing multiple practices with a hand injury suffered during the first week of camp.
Down in the trenches
The Cardinals’ starting offensive line remains intact with what we’ve seen for the majority of training camp:
LT: D.J. Humphries
LG: Elijah Wilkinson
C: Hjalte Froholdt
RG: Will Hernandez
RT: Paris Johnson Jr.
The biggest battle along the line figures to be at left guard. Wilkinson has maintained his role throughout camp, though Dennis Daley has started to creep in here and there.
Rookie Jon Gaines II also enters Friday’s tilt as the team’s backup center, beating out veteran option Pat Elflein. The two have been sharing reps at the position this week.
On the other side of the trenches, it’s defensive ends Jonathan Ledbetter and L.J. Collier and nose tackle Leki Fotu leading the charge.
Fotu and Ledbetter were holdovers from last season, while Collier is looking to reboot his NFL career following his time in Seattle.
As for Rashard Lawrence, a Week 1 starter the past two seasons, the lineman finds himself behind Fotu and free-agent signing Kevin Strong.
It also looks like we might finally have our answer to the ongoing question of whether or not Arizona is sticking with a base 3-4 defense.
Cardinals tight end Noah Togiai has been one of Arizona’s camp standouts this year yet finds himself fourth on the depth chart behind Zach Ertz (when healthy), Trey McBride and Geoff Swaim.
But with both Ertz and McBride dealing with their respective issues, Togiai should be able to put something on tape on Friday.
No surprise at QB
The Clayton Tune hype train has been full steam ahead throughout training camp, especially when his starting point was working with the 2s.
But at least on paper, it’s still Colt McCoy earning the starting nod with Kyler Murray still on the mend from his torn ACL.
David Blough is next in line with Jeff Driskel taking up the fourth spot.
Wilson with the 2s
Another rookie with loads of attention has been wide receiver Michael Wilson.
His ascension to starter isn’t quite there yet, though, as he is listed behind Zach Pascal. The veteran is joined by starters Hollywood Brown and Rondale Moore.
Special teams clarity?
Two important positions have been up in the air when it comes the special teams unit, punter and return man.
Ten days into camp and Nolan Cooney and Greg Dortch appear to have a grasp on the roles.
Cooney is listed as both the punter and holder, while Dortch is set to man both kick and punt return duties.
Preseason game 1: Arizona Cardinals depth chart
— Tyler Drake (@Tdrake4sports) August 8, 2023